2020-04-01 Wednesday

H.E Thongphath Vongmany’s Speech The 13th ASEAN-China Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Release time:2019-06-26

Excellencies, Ministers and Vice Ministers,

Excellency Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN,

Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    This is my privilege to attend the 13th ASEAN-China Forum on Social Development and Poverty Eradication hosted by the Chinese State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development and co-organized by the International Poverty Reduction Center in China and Poverty Alleviation Office of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. I would like to take this opportunity to express my thankfulness to China for their warmest hospitality extended to the Lao PDR delegation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

    Taking into account that the 13th forum under the theme of "China-ASEAN Poverty Reduction Cooperation towards SDGs". SDGs is the broader sustainability agenda compare to the MDGs, it aims at addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people. The Lao PDR was among the earliest countries to localize the SDGs and integrate them into its national planning framework especially on the eighth National Socio-Economic Development Plan, which has embedded SDGs into three dimensions of the 2030 Agenda: economic, social, and environmental. In addition to the 17 global SDGs, Lao PDR has adopted one more national Sustainable Development Goal 18 which is "Live Safe from UXO", since UXO contamination continues to affect national development and poverty reduction in particular in the rural areas. 

The Prime Minister’s decree on MDGs has been revised in order to provide the legal basis for SDG implementation. 

The Prime Minister is chairing an inter-ministerial SDG Steering Committee to oversee and advise on the SDG implementation.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

    For the Lao PDR, Poverty reduction issue has been prioritized to include in the national agenda since decades as a result, progress has been made over the past twenty years, including halving poverty, reducing hunger, and improving education and health outcomes. In addition, we are delighted to share the experiences that strong economic growth in the recent years, with a focus on rural development and poverty reduction, have helped Lao PDR to meet two out of the three inter-related criteria for graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC)status for the first time ever this year.              However, despite the achievements, disparities in poverty are still considerable among different locations and groups. The poverty headcount rate is around 20%, the highest rate in ASEAN. Besides , the rural infrastructure is still lack behind with around 16% of the population has no access to all weather roads and a large proportion of the population, especially farmers, who live just over the poverty line are vulnerable to fall into poverty due to climate-related shocks and other catastrophes.

    In this regard, the Lao Government has continued to promote the growth with the focus on rural development and poverty reduction, and implement the decree 348 on well-being and development of the community.

    Excellencies, Ladies and gentlement, 

    It is a valuable opportunity for the Lao delegation to attend the 13th Forum as we will be able exchange and learn from the best practices and further strengthen our partnership and cooperation in this area in order to ensure the steady progress of development towards the SDGs, achieving LDC graduation and improving the well-being of the citizens.

    Lastly, I wish the 13th ASEAN-China Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction a fruitful outcomes.

    Thank you.