Vientiane, 16 November 2021 – The Government of Lao PDR, represented by H.E. Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the United Nations (UN), represented by Ms. Sara Sekkenes, UN Resident Coordinator to Lao PDR, officially signed the 2022-2026 Lao PDR-UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF).
The Official Signing Ceremony took place a day ahead of the 13th High-Level Round Table Meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with limited physical participation from both sides, acknowledging the ongoing rise of COVID-19 infections in the country’s capital. The 2022-2026 UNSDCF is the first since the reform of the UN development system, ushered in by the adoption by UN General Assembly Resolution 72/279 in 2018, transforming the way the UN works, building a platform for greater coordination, coherence, effectiveness, and development impact.
The implementation of the UN Reform through the UNSDCF is characterised by strengthened alignment to national development priorities, comprehensive and interconnected strategic priorities, a structure underpinned by results-based management principles, streamlined coordination mechanisms, and a practical and targeted monitoring and evaluation framework.
Replacing the current Lao PDR – United Nations Partnership Framework 2017-2021, the 2022-2026 UNSDCF emphasises the importance of cooperation between Lao PDR and the UN to address the development needs and challenges in the country in alignment with the overarching directions and six pillars of the 9th Five-Years National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2021-2025. The formulation process was highly consultative, with numerous exchanges held between UN entities, with the Government of Lao PDR, development partners, and civil society, to reflect all views and aspirations.
The Cooperation Framework compromises four strategic priorities: 1.) People’s wellbeing; 2.) Inclusive prosperity; 3.) Governance and rule of law; and 4.) Environment, Climate Change, and Resilience. The new generation of Cooperation Frameworks, therefore, will be an importance document for planning, implementing national development projects, and it is part of the global UN reform, which strives to make the UN development system more coherent, efficient, and effective, as well as to enhance the cooperation and support from the UN agencies in Lao PDR for the period 2022-2026, with the aim to achieve the development priorities of the country, particularly the National Socio-Economic Development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On this important occasion, H.E. Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs highly valued and appreciated the continued cooperation and support by the UN to the Lao PDR over the past years, which have significantly contributed to the socio-economic development in the country. He also looked forwarded to having enhanced support and cooperation from the UN country team on the ground in the future, in particular, in the area of COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, climate change, sustainable development, Lao PDR’s graduation from the LDC status and relevant development areas.
To realize these ambitions, the UN country team will work collaboratively across four strategic priorities, bringing together Agencies, Funds, and Programmes with specific expertise to help national counterparts advance development progress and tackle Lao PDR’s development challenges.