Laos commemorates the Human Rights Day

Dec 11, 2012

Government and its development partners gathered to mark the human rights day in vientiane. Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Eeva Nyyssonen

Vientiane, 10th December 2012 - More than 150 participants from the Government and the international community gathered to mark the International Human Rights Day on Monday at an event held in the Don Chan Palace in Vientiane. 

The theme for year’s celebration, organized by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was “Inclusion and the Right to Participate in Public Affairs”. With this global theme, the UN called for recognition for the struggle by millions of people worldwide to have their fundamental rights respected, including their right to have a voice and for that voice to be heard and to be taken into account.

Speaking at the event Mr. Alounkeo Kittikhoun, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, remarked that Lao PDR has achieved a number of accomplishments in this regard. “Lao people have the right to vote in elections and to be elected to the National Assembly. They participate in public affairs through their chosen representatives in the legislative body”, said the Vice Minister. 

Mr. Minh Pham, The UN Resident Coordinator and the UNDP Resident Representative said “We acknowledge the National Assembly’s clear intent and leadership in further strengthening and ensuring people’s participation in the decision-making process.”

Mr. Pham also noted the increasing role that Non-Profit Associations (NPAs) play in the Lao society as a positive development in the area of people’s participation in Lao PDR. The number of registered NPAs has grown from 39 to 102 during the last year. This year, national NPAs were also included in the Round Table Process for the first time.   

Every year on Human Rights Day, 10 December, the global community commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Today the Universal Declaration is one of the fundamental texts establishing respect for human rights as a guiding principle in international relations. Lao PDR has ratified seven core human rights treaties, and is a signatory to one of the remaining two ones.

In his message issued for the Human Rights Day the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “Everyone has the right to be heard and to shape the decisions that affect their community. No matter who you are, or where you live, your voice counts.  On this Day, let us unite to defend your right to make it heard.”

Contact information

Ms. Oraxone Vissapra
Tel: 021 267 729

Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Mr. Sengpraarthid Snookphone
Tel: 021 244190

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