H.E. Mr. Alounkeo KITTIKHOUN, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Laos’ ASEAN SOM Leader (third from left), led the Lao Delegation to attend the 18th ASEAN-ROK Dialogue, held on 18-20 June 2014 in Busan, Republic of Korea.
The Meeting reviewed the cooperation between ASEAN and ROK over the past year, and charted out future directions as well as made preparations for the upcoming Post Ministerial Conference (PMC) 10+1 Session with the Republic of Korea in August 2014 in Myanmar, the 17th ASEAN-ROK Summit in November 2014 in Myanmar andthe ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit to mark the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Relations to be held in ROK in December 2014.
The Meeting also exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest.
The Lao PDR and the European Union held the 5th Meeting of the Informal Bilateral Working Group on Governance and Human Rights on 19 May 2014 in Brussels to exchange information on human rights in both Laos and the EU. The two sides updated one another on their laws, policies, as well as progress, challenges and ways forward in the promotion and protection of human rights. The 5th Meeting of the Working Group covered a wide range of thematic human rights topics such as freedom of expression, assembly and association, death penalty, civil society, human rights defenders, freedom of religion and belief, gender equality, human trafficking, conditions in prisons and drug rehabilitations centres, labour standards, land policies and rights, status of ratification of human rights treaties, UPR recommendations and preparation for UPR second cycle review by the Lao PDR, multilateral and regional human rights fora and mechanisms such as the UN General Assembly Third Committee and, Human Rights Council, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights ( AICHR), the European Court of Human Rights. The Lao PDR offered explanations and clarifications on a number of individual cases of concern to the EU. The EU updated on the its ongoing support for governance and human rights in Laos, as well as the EU future programming phase 2014-2020 which has good governance, the rule of law and human rights among the prioritized areas of EU cooperation.