Good governance vital to sustainable development

Jul 1, 2016

Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Daniel Hodgson

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 development cooperation forum. The Governance Sector Working Group is co-chaired by the Ministries of Home Affairs and Justice, with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) acting as co-chair. Today’s workshop convened Government and development partners and was co-chaired by Vice-Minister of Home Affairs Dr. Khammoune Viphongxay, Vice-Minister of Justice Prof. Ket Kiettisak and UNDP’s Resident Representative a.i. Mr. Charles Chauvel.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 ambitious global objectives adopted by all United Nations Member States in late 2015, with the aim to shift the world onto a sustainable development path by 2030. Mrs. Phonevanh Outhavong, Deputy Director General of the Planning Department of the Ministry of Planning and Investment explained how the SDGs are being adapted to the realities of Lao PDR through integrating them into the 8th National Socio-economic Development Plan. SDG number 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions was highlighted as the ‘good governance SDG’ by Mr. Charles Chauvel from UNDP, who also provided further insight into how SDG 16 can support the Lao PDR’s targets in developing its institutions and thus advancing social inclusion.  Participants agreed that the achievement of the SDGs and the goals of the 8th Plan with its prime target of graduation from Least Developed Country status require balanced progress in the three areas of economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusion. 

People’s Provincial Assemblies were elected for the first time in the general elections in March this year. The role of this new tool for people’s participation and local representation was presented by Mr. Viengkeo Vannachak, Director General of the National Assembly’s Members Affairs Department. People’s Provincial Assemblies are mandated to represent the rights and interests of Lao PDR’s multi-ethnic population. They will play a role in considering and endorsing local legislation and in overseeing the constitutional enforcement of laws on local administrative organisations. They will also be the approving body of provincial Socio-Economic Development Plans.

Vice Minister of Home Affairs Dr. Khammoune emphasised that good governance plays a vital role in economic development and sustainable poverty reduction. “The Government is committed to strengthen governance and public administration reform initiatives to improve its country-wide administration in order to build trust with its constituents and the international community. Regional and global integration of Lao PDR is also a challenge for our governance system. For these reasons governance and public administration reform is prioritised in the government’s programmes and initiatives.”

Governance for Equitable Development, the Government’s new governance and public administration reform project for the period of 2017-2020 is an outcome of this prioritisation process. Dr. Khammoune urged existing and new development partners within the Governance Sector Working Group to support this reform project.

For more information, contact:

Charles Chauvel, Resident Representative a.i., UNDP Lao PDR

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