The Changing Role of UNDP in Asia-Pacific: Speech by RBAP Director Haoliang Xu
The Changing Role of UNDP in Asia-Pacific: Speech by RBAP Director Haoliang Xu

The world is changing and so are we. In this speech by UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Director Haoliang Xu, hear how UNDP is evolving from a donor into an advisor and development service provider. In 2017, our goal is to increase domestic public and private co-financing to 15 percent of our delivery as a means of adapting UNDP to the new development landscape.

National Assembly hotline helps villagers realise their rights

A telephone call to the National Assembly’s hotline allowed the 66 families of Lamong village in southern Lao PDR to receive the compensation they were entitled to by law.

One man and his tea

This story starts in 2008. On a misty morning, Phasi, a local farmer of Ngodphae Village, in the Northern Lao province of Xieng Khouang climbed Phou San, a mountain close to his village. Huddled in a fleece jacket against the chill of the morning, he ascended higher and higher on the slopes. Collecting dewdrops on the tip of his fingers, his hands brushed the low shrubs by his feet as he was panting up the mountain. Stopping cold in his tracks, he suddenly bowed down, close to one of the light-green plants by his feet. In an affectionate gesture, he stroked the top of the Camellia Sinensis bush, turning the branches around to see whether the pointed leaves bore the secret he was looking for. A smile crumpled up his weather-worn face, as he gently tugged a reddish-brown fruit off the tip of the branch.

Two new reports examine graduation from Least Developed Country status

Lao PDR’s 5th National Human Development Report and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development´s (UNCTAD) Least Developed Countries Report 2016 were launched on Tuesday by Dr. Kikeo Chanthaboury, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment, and Ms. Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. The launch was attended by government officials from line ministries and development partners.

Climate Action flashmob
Photo story: History and passion unite for Climate Action

On an ordinary day, the Mekong riverbank in Vientiane was shaken up by an inspiring performance with an important message.

Three UN agencies renew their commitment to the development of Lao PDR

UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF jointly signed a Letter of Agreement on the implementation of their new country programme documents with officials from the Government.

Photo story: Defenders of wildlife

Savannakhet Province in Southern Laos has managed to retain large areas of dry woodlands, protecting biodiversity and the communities that depend on it.

Virtual reality film
Step into the reality of a UXO clearance team

The bombs below is UNDP's first Virtual Reality film UNDP Lao PDR has produced the first virtual reality film for Lao audiences on unexploded ordnance (UXO). By raising awareness, this film supports the implementation of Lao PDR’s own national Sustainable Development Goal 18: Lives safe from UXO. Sounds of an...

Lao PDR’s first-ever flashmob inspires climate action

Young actors, dancers and volunteers from around the world gathered on the Mekong river-bank with an unprecedented surprise performance to stimulate action on climate change and celebrate International Volunteers Day.

The Government of Lao PDR & partners agree priority actions for development
The Government of Lao PDR and partners agree priority actions for development

The two-day Round Table Implementation Meeting concluded in Vientiane Province today with the Government and its partners endorsing the Vientiane Declaration Country Action Plan.

Businesses To Play Greater Role In New Development Era In Asia-Pacific, Says UNDP At Responsible Business Forum
Businesses To Play Greater Role In New Development Era In Asia-Pacific, Says UNDP At Responsible Business Forum

At the fifth Responsible Business Forum, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today called on business leaders to take a greater role in the new development era in order to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Forum, opened in Singapore by UNDP and Global Initiatives, aims to address a sea change in the nature of development funding by creating a new partnership for sustainable development.

While foreign funding (Official Development Assistance) is still essential for the development system, it now accounts for 0.7 percent of total financial flows in Asia-Pacific (down from 13.5 percent in 1990), while domestic public and private finance accounts for 89 percent, according to a UNDP report launched last month.

Haoliang Xu: Opening Plenary Address At The Responsible Business Forum
Haoliang Xu: Opening Plenary Address At The Responsible Business Forum

It is one year since every country in the world signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals. They form a blueprint for addressing the most significant challenges facing our planet and its people. Challenges like climate change. This is likely to be the hottest year on record and here in Asia, climate change is a cause of the natural disasters that have claimed half a million lives in the last decade. Challenges like inequality, which has been growing for four-fifths of Asia-Pacific’s population over the last 20 years. Challenges brought on by the accelerating process of ageing, which will make it harder for many Asian states to provide basic services to their people. The 17 SDGs will address these challenges and other interlinked issues, including education, hunger and security. But governments cannot implement this blueprint on their own. Nor can the UN and other development organizations.

Dynamic preparations warrant a successful alliance for development

A string of consultations are leading up to Round Table Implementation Meeting, to be held in Vientiane Province on 24-25 November.

Asia’s First Zero-Waste, Zero-Emission Business Forum in Singapore

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Initiatives, Singapore will welcome over 600 business & sustainability leaders, senior government officials, UN agencies, NGOs from across the globe for the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development (RBF) in Singapore on 22-24 November 2016.

The Government and its development partners intend to boost progress in development nationwide at the 2016 Round Table Implementation Meeting.
Round Table Implementation Meeting aims to advance Lao PDR’s development

A press conference on the preparation of the Round Table Implementation Meeting 2016 took place at Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vientiane capital.

Domestic Resources Dominate Development Finance in Asia
Domestic Resources Dominate Development Finance in Asia

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Asia-Pacific Development Effectiveness Facility (AP-DEF) opened a two-day meeting on aid ahead of the upcoming Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. More than 100 government delegates and development experts are exploring how to design integrated national financing frameworks for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Asia-Pacific. “Domestic sources of finance are emerging as a key driving force for sustainable development in Asia-Pacific,” said Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Director for Asia and the Pacific. “These new sources of finance allow us to expand the existing development cooperation and partnership.”

Digital UN
UNDP prominently featured at cutting-edge technologies event

The United Nations 71stbirthday was marked today in Vientiane in a public event, linking new technologies to sustainable development. A lady wearing a blue sinh skirt, her head held high, looking into a virtual reality headset with the United Nations logo printed on it – this image was the United Nation’s hallmark for...

UNDP team at Eld's Deer sanctuary
New approach to improving local livelihoods though Lao PDR’s beautiful nature

The Department of Forest Resources Management in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has started an initiative in Lao PDR’s dry dipterocarp forests in Savannakhet province, enhancing conservation for a positive impact on local communities. A new project funded by the Global Environment Facility, and...

UNDP, Global Initiatives Announce the 5th Responsible Business Forum

We are delighted to announce that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will be working together with Global Initiatives, as co-organizers of the 5th annual Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development, held once again at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, 22 - 24 November 2016.

Lao PDR contributes to the global Climate Change Agenda

Lao PDR’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is being implemented with the help of a new project funded by the Global Environment Facility in partnership with UNDP and the Department of Disaster Management and Climate Change.

Demographic changes present unique opportunity for Lao PDR

Demographic change in Asia and the Pacific is happening at a rate the world has never seen. An explosion in the working age population and a fall in birth rates that took a century in Europe are happening in this region in just 30 years. Population dynamics have a big impact on development in Lao PDR, since fertility rates are dropping and the working-age population is growing.

Unexploded ordnance clearance in Xieng Khouang receives a boost
Unexploded ordnance clearance in Xieng Khouang receives a boost

UXO clearance and survey in Xieng Khouang set to continue with certainty thanks to strong support to the Government of Lao PDR from New Zealand and the UNDP. A much needed boost to mine risk education and the clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Lao PDR’s heavily contaminated northern province of Xieng Khouang was announced today by the Prime Minister of New Zealand at the UXO Lao Training Centre in Ban Elay, Vientiane.

Lao PDR writes history by launching Sustainable Development Goal 18
Lao PDR writes history by launching Sustainable Development Goal 18

As a side event to the ASEAN Summits, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon inaugurated Lao PDR’s own national Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on unexploded ordnance (UXO) today. “Lives safe from UXO; Remove the UXO obstacle to national development” is the title of SDG 18....

Convention on Cluster Munitions enhances UXO action in Lao PDR

1 August 2016 marks the sixth anniversary of the Entry Into Force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The Convention is an international treaty that prohibits the use, production, transfer and storage of these explosive weapons. For Lao PDR, one of the most bombed countries in the world, this is a significant...

Good governance vital to sustainable development

The Sustainable Development Goals and the newly established People’s Provincial Assemblies were discussed at a Governance Sector Working Group thematic workshop in Vientiane today.   Sector Working Groups link local progress to national plans and policies within the national Round Table Process, Lao PDR’s...

Sayabouly communities on air

About 20,000 villagers from 27 ethnic communities in the district can now tune in to FM98.8 MHz, the frequency of Khop Community Radio. The station was launched today in the presence of senior officials from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the...

Forests of Southern Lao PDR of global importance

The Government of Lao PDR has just signed a new UNDP programme funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which is set to conserve and manage forests in five districts of Savannakhet Province, over the next six years.  Sustainable Forest and Land Management in the Dry Dipterocarp Ecosystems of...

Managing investment through a poverty and environment lens

Vientiane Province, 27 April, 2016 - Like many developing countries in Southeast Asia, Lao PDR’s economic growth is being driven by private investments, bringing the promise of greater opportunities and well-being to the people as well as challenges to environmental and rural livelihoods protection. The wealth of Lao...

The Asia-Pacific region is going through massive population shifts.
UNDP: Fastest population shift in history means make or break for Asia-Pacific

Long-term planning now can bring unprecedented growth and tackle poverty, conflict and migration Demographic change in Asia and the Pacific is happening at a rate the world has never seen. An explosion in the working age population and a fall in birth rates that took a century in Europe are happening here in...

Agro-Biodiversity key to food security and nutrition
Agro-Biodiversity key to food security and nutrition

Luang Prabang, 22 April, 2016 – The health and diversity of Lao PDR’s natural resources and environment is critical to food security and nutrition for over 80 percent of the population who depend on the natural wealth of the environment to live. Farmers in Lao PDR depend on agro-biodiversity, the combination of...

UNDP to launch report on people-centered development in Asia-Pacific

  New Regional Human Development Report offers innovative policies for maximizing the potential of population change The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today that it will launch its new human development report “Shaping the Future: How Changing Demographics Can Power Human Development,”...

Corruption remains a major stumbling block for justice sector reforms: UNDP
Corruption remains a major stumbling block for justice sector reforms: UNDP

Bangkok, 8 April 2016 - Corrupt judicial systems undermine reforms and are a major impediment to ensuring access to justice and human rights for ordinary citizens across the world, says a new report published by the United Nations Development Programme and U4 Anti-corruption Resource Centre on Friday. Titled, A...

International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action: “An investment in humanity”

4 April marks the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. This day was declared by the United Nations in 2005 with the aim to raise public awareness on the danger of unexploded ordnance and mines and mobilise necessary resources for addressing the problem worldwide, particularly in...

Lao PDR launches climate change action plan with UNDP

Vientiane, 24 March, 2016 - Climate change is a real threat to the development of Lao PDR, which is already experiencing increasing incidence of extreme weather events like flooding and drought. In a country where approximately 80 per cent of the population rely on some form of agricultural activity for the...

Lao PDR’s UXO Sector achieves new clearance milestone in 2015

2015 was a year of significant progress and innovation for Lao PDR’s UXO sector, thanks to a new evidence-based survey method. Vientiane, 15 May 2015 - The UXO Sector, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), adopted a new, evidence-based UXO survey approach in 2015, which has resulted in...

Enhanced access to legal information for Lao citizens

Field mission scouts new ways of raising awareness on rights and laws in pilot province With the opening of an Information Kiosk at the Provincial Court in the Lao province of Xiengkhouang and a fully functional Legal Aid Center at the Department of Justice in the province’s capital Phonsavanh, citizens now have...

Greater partnerships and new forms of development financing essential for inclusive growth and graduation from LDC status

The Government of Lao PDR and the United Nations share an update on the implementation of the outcomes of the country’s main development forum Vientiane, 26 February 2016 – Three months after the 12th High Level Round Table Meeting, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the United Nations Development...

40 years in a country of untold stories

She is younger than 25 – as are 60 percent of the population. She lives below the national poverty line – similar to one-third of her fellow upland inhabitants. She was already married at the age of 15 – like ten percent of the women in her country. Her village lies in an area rife with unexploded bombs, she belongs...

Global opportunities and challenges impact Lao PDR’s development - Launch of global development reports

Recently published UN reports allow for insight into global trends of work and challenges in rural development across the world, which are of relevance to existing and emerging national strategies and policies. Fast technological progress, deepening globalisation, aging societies and environmental challenges are rapidly...

UNDP Asia Pacific Director Haoliang Xu: The 2030 Agenda Implementation in Asia and the Pacific

Speech from Georgetown University on February 3, 2016 in Washington DC. I am delighted to be at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University as a speaker at this important discussion on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.  I thank Professor Irfan...

Climate change awareness integrated into local planning and national legislature

Two climate change projects aim to encourage climate change adaptation in water resources and small scale rural infrastructure and disaster risk management. More than 100 Government officials and development partners working in the field of climate change and disaster risk management gathered today at the...

International, regional and national human rights mechanisms discussed

In conjunction with the Human Rights Day celebrated annually on December 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Support Project for Implementation of the Legal Sector Master Plan organised a two-day seminar on December 7-8 to raise awareness of international and regional human rights systems and...

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark: Development gains need to be spread more evenly to leave no one behind in Lao PDR

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator and Chair of the United Nations (UN) Development Group Helen Clark speaks out on sustainable and inclusive growth for Lao PDR. Vientiane – 29 November 2015 – The occasion of UNDP Administrator Helen Clark’s official visit to Lao PDR was the 12th High Level...

Ministry of Justice goes digital and strives for more inclusive participation in law-making

At the occasion of the Development Cooperation Exhibition, a side event for the High Level Round Table Meeting, H.E. Dr. Seumsouk Simphavong, Vice Minister of Justice, launched the Ministry’s first-ever website and law-making baseline report together with Mr. Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP...

New Partnership Declaration to guide development action in Lao PDR to 2025

Vientiane 27 November 2015 – The Government and its development partners endorsing a new ten-year framework for development co-operation in Lao PDR today. The ‘Vientiane Partnership Declaration’ will help ensure that all funds, efforts and knowledge for development bring about the maximum possible impact, to...

Thematic workshop on criminal justice

Within the Governance Sector Working Group as part of the Round Table Process, the Legal and Institutional Sub-Sector Working Group organises annual thematic workshops with the primary objectives of bringing together all key stakeholders and discussing overarching topics relevant for the legal sector in Lao PDR....

Frogs – A leap towards climate change resilience

As the first ray of sun hits the foliage, Kongsy walks up to a small area, fenced off with blue mesh screen at the end of his garden, containing a small puddle. Gentle cooing sounds lure a group of the smallest dwellers in his household garden right into Kongsy’s hands, which are holding a treasure: a bag filled...

UXO Sector Working Group approves new strategy

Article adapted from Vientiane Times The National Regulatory Authority (NRA) for the UXO/Mine Action sector in Lao PDR has set a target to reduce the number of UXO casualties to less than 40 per year and provide assistance to at least 1,500 UXO victims in the period from 2016-2020, while also conducting...

A 'step change' for development cooperation in Laos?

An article by Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative We may well be about to see a far more inclusive way of working together for development in Laos. After six months of consultations with donors, civil society organizations and businesses, the government has finalized a...

Partnership for livelihood support in Saravan Province

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partner, the Lao Women’s Union (LWU) signed a letter of agreement for partnership through a new project for local development as part of 6 project countries of the global Sae-ma-ul Initiative. Together with 10 selected villages, UNDP and LWU will work to...

Natural resources sector reviews future goals

As another preparation event for the High Level Round Table Meeting on 27 November, the Natural Resources and Environment Sector Working Group met this week. Amongst others, they discussed the Laos PDR's strategy on climate change, the "Intended Nationally Determined Contribution" that was recently submitted...

UNDP Resident Representative's opening remarks to Governance Sector Working Group Annual Meeting

As a preparation to the High level Round Table Meeting in a few weeks, government ministries, development partners and civil society organizations came together to take stock of key achievements and challenges in the governance sector in Laos. This was organized under the umbrella of the Governance Sector...

Blue Patuxay illuminates 60 years of cooperation between Lao PDR and the United Nations

The Government and United Nations in Lao PDR commemorate the 70th year of existence of the United Nations and the 60th anniversary of the country’s partnership with the UN with a series of events. “Towards sustainable development” reads the banner across Kaysone Phomvihane Road, highlighting 70 years of UN...

A bigger role for business in Lao PDR’s development

Business is playing a bigger role in Lao PDR’s development planning. On the 27th of November, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong will host a major conference to chart how the international community can best support the country’s next five-year development plan. In preparation, business is being consulted like...

Laos’ 5th National Human Development Report: Developing the richness of human life

UNDP’s 2015 Human Development Report ‘Work for Human Development’ will be launched on 14 December in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Simultaneously, Lao PDR is currently preparing its 5th National Human Development Report. The luster of rapid economic expansion as the ultimate goal and measure of development has dulled...

Community Radio for Development reaches Lakhonepheng

Stakeholders gathered in Lakhonepheng District on Tuesday 13 October to celebrate the launch of the newest Community Radio Station in the country and the first for Saravane Province. The first Community Radio for Development station in Lao PDR was established in 2006. Community Radio coverage in Lao PDR has...

UNDP's Haoliang Xu: Global Goals in Asia-Pacific leave no one behind

Washington DC: Monday, October 5 Haoliang Xu – UN Assistant Secretary-General, and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific – addressed approximately 60 people at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He spoke about the Sustainable...