Prime Minister briefed on Round Table Results
H.E. Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong on Monday heard about the successful result of the Round Table Implementation Meeting (RTIM) 2012 following a debriefing by 13 international Heads of Delegations.
The key objective of the RTIM 2012, held on 23 November, was to review implementation of the second year of the 7th National Socio Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) 2011-15, as well as to discuss further priorities and resources to achieve the national development objectives.
The development partners congratulated the Government for its achievements during the second year of implementation of the 7th NSEDP. Deliberations of the RTIM also resulted in joint pledges for concerted collaboration during the coming year in a number of key areas, they reported during a half-hour session with the Prime Minister.
Priority issues will include tackling persistent social disparities will be tackled through more effective investments in the social sectors; supporting formulation of a new land policy that protects the poor; and expanding the development dialogue to encompass the issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Prudent overall fiscal management, as well as sustainable management of the national debt, will be encouraged to minimize risks to high economic growth and increase Lao PDR’s business competitiveness.
The RTIM also closely examined ways for Lao PDR to accelerate progress toward off-track Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. For the first time, the meeting included the participation of national Non-Profit Associations (NPAs).
RTIM participants agreed to address the urgent improvements needed in food and nutrition security, using a coordinated approach based on the successful model that helped the country prevent the spread of avian influenza in recent years.
To reduce primary school dropouts, RTIM participants pledged to work toward mobilizing more resources for school feeding as an incentive, as well as toward expansion of school block grants. At the same time, they agreed to give greater attention to low-cost but high-impact interventions that can meaningfully address major causes of maternal mortality.
Good governance will be deepened by continuing efforts toward enhanced transparency, including during the national budget process. Lastly, it was noted that greater space exists to encourage the participation of emerging donors in the development dialogue, complementing new opportunities for civil society partners to also participate effectively.
Development partners at Monday’s session with the Prime Minister included the United Nations, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australia, China, European Union (EU), France, Germany, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, United States, and World Bank. They were led by H.E. Mr. Somdy Douangdy, Minister of Planning and Investment and Chair of the RTIM, and H.E. Mr. Minh H. Pham, United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative. Mr. Pham served as Co-Chair of the RTIM.
The RTIM was attended by approximately 300 participants, including senior Government officials, Ambassadors and senior dignitaries from 35 countries, and representatives of 42 international organizations and international financial institutions.
Lao PDR has participated since 1983 in the Round Table Process, which is implemented by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Department of International Cooperation, and supported by UNDP. The Process comprises Round Table Meetings every three years to review plans, strategies and programmes and commit funding pledges, while RTIM meetings review achievements and recommend further actions. The next full Round Table Meeting will be in 2013.
Ministry of Planning and Investment
Department of International Cooperation
Phone: (856-21) 222 214