Helen Clark: Strong partnerships crucial for SDG attainment

Mar 13, 2017

UNDP Chief Helen Clark commends Lao PDR for leading the region in progress towards realising the Sustainable Development Goals during the launch of three new UNDP flagship programmes. Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/ Chelsey Parish

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator and Chair of the United Nations Development Group, H.E Ms Helen Clark visited Lao PDR today to acknowledge the country’s progress on the development agenda and launch a strong partnership with the Government.

At 15:00 PM, as part of the programme, the UNDP Chief launched together with H.E. Dr. Souphanh Keomixay, Minister of Planning and Investment three new flagship UNDP programmes aiming to strengthen development partnerships through the Round Table Process for sustainable development, as well as to support Lao PDR’s goal to graduate from Least Developed Country Status. This launching ceremony was organised in the presence of senior government officials who are implementing partners of the UNDP-supported programmes, other line ministries and development partners. 

The key objectives of the Launching Ceremony is to strengthen a partnership under the new UNDP Country Programme for Lao PDR (2017-2021) through three new flagship programmes centered around the successful implementation of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, the strengthening of responsive and engaging governance structures and administrative systems, and the accelerated removal of UXO.

H.E. Dr. Souphanh Keomixay said: “For the implementation of the 8th Plan, the support from our partners, in particular UNDP, is important as it will help determine our aspiration to graduate from Least Developed Country status and bring early results in achieving the SDGs.”

As UXO problems have been posing great challenges to the development of Lao PDR, UNDP has renewed its partnership with the National Regulatory Authority for UXO and Mine Action and UXO Lao through the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. “During my last visit in 2015, I saw how the clearance of UXO can help create the conditions needed for rural development and access to basic services, such as clearing land for safe schools and play areas to be built. Let me thank everyone contributing to this important sector, including our long-term and new development partners”, Ms. Clark said.

The third UNDP programme launched today in the presence of the Ministry of Home Affairs aims to establish and strengthen governance structures and administrative systems necessary to respond to the needs of all citizens, in a new joint programme with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNDCF). Ms. Clark emphasised the importance of including citizens’ feedback in the planning cycle for services provision at local levels.

Helen Clark acknowledged donors such as Luxembourg, Switzerland, New Zealand, the European Union, Ireland and others in supporting the Lao PDR through the three programmes launched. 

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Ms. Clark highlighted the strong partnership between the Government and UNDP and acknowledged the Government’s commitment to sustainable and equitable development through its 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan.

“Returning to Lao PDR after my participation in the High-Level Round Table Meeting in 2015, I can see the progress in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, enshrined in the 2030 Agenda. Lao PDR is leading the region in terms of alignment with the global development agenda”, Ms. Clark said.

H.E. Dr. Souphanh Keomixay also used the opportunity to express the country’s appreciation to Ms. Clark for being a champion of development and institutional reform at UNDP in particular refocusing and reforming UNDP to make it a more modern and most transparent aid organisation. On behalf of the Government of Lao PDR and Lao people, H.E. Dr. Souphanh Keomixay also expressed gratitude to Ms. Clark in general, and thanked UNDP and the UN system for the ongoing collaboration and kind assistance to Lao PDR.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Morakot Vongxay, Head of UN Division, DIC/MPI; Email: k_vongxay@hotmail.com; Tel: 856-21-222214

Ms. Ildiko Hamos-Sohlo, Head of Public Information Unit, UNDP Lao PDR, Email: ildiko.hamos@undp.org; Tel: (+856 21) 267 778; Mobile: (+856 20) 7717 7913