Round Table Implementation Meeting to address off track MDGs

18 Nov 2011

Preparations are in their final stages for this year's Round Table Implementation Meeting (RTIM) that takes the theme, 'Pathway to the Achievement of the 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and 2020 Least Developed Country Graduation'.

At a meeting with journalists on 17 November the Vice-Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr. Bounthavy Sisouphanthong, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Minh H. Pham, and representatives from eight Sector Working Groups (SWG), discussed preparations for the upcoming Round Table Implementation Meeting (RTIM).

The 2011 RTIM will be held on November 22 at the International Cooperation and Training Center (ICTC) in Vientiane. The meeting will look at the progress and achievements this year towards achieving the 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and eventual graduation from Least Developed Country status by 2020.

The meeting will also discuss the three off-track MDGs. These include; MDG1 reduce child hunger and malnutrition by half; MDG5 to reduce maternal mortality rates and to provide universal access to reproductive health; and MDG7 to ensure environmental sustainability.

Mr. Minh H. Pham stated that, "Priority will be given at the RTIM to the three off-track MDGs, with the aim of accelerating progress here, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable in rural areas."

He added that important governance factors will help to improve collective performance. "Such factors include enabling national capacity for improved service delivery, as well as accountability, effectiveness, transparency and responsiveness."

H.E. Dr. Bounthavy highlighted the importance of the Round Table Process in ensuring that aid given to Lao PDR is implemented in the most effective and efficient way possible. “Given the benefits that the country has already gained from aid effectiveness efforts, the Government views this upcoming meeting as an opportunity to strengthen commitment and generate new ideas on for the continued improvement of aid effectiveness in Lao PDR,” he said.

During the meeting, Dr. Bounthavy also announced that the current structure of eight sector working groups would expand to ten, following the addition of sector working groups on trade and private sector development, as well as natural resources and the environment. “These new Sector Working Groups are established to increase coordination and attention on these key areas of development for Lao PDR,” said the Vice-Minister.

The RTIM is part of the Round Table Process led by the Government with the Ministry of Planning and Investment coordinating the involvement of the ministries, national institutions, and development partners. By increasing coordination, the Government aims to strengthen efforts to meet key development goals that aim for inclusive and equitable improvements in the quality of life for all Lao citizens.