H.E. Alounkeo Kittikhoun, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of
the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
At the General Debate, 8th Bali Democracy Forum: “Democracy and Effective Public Governance”,
10 December 2015, Bali, Indonesia
The Lao Delegation wishes to express high appreciation to the Indonesian Government for hosting this forum and for the warm hospitality extended to us.
The Lao delegationshares the view that democracy is a universalvaluebased on the freely expressed will of the people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives. While all democracies share many common features, there are various forms of democracy and there is no single model of democracy because democracy does not belong to any country or region. The Bali Democracy Forum that we are attending with the theme: “Democracy and Effective Public Governance” is a useful platform to share experiences and good practices of the participating countries in democracy and its linkage to public governance. It is my conviction that the promotion of democracy should be based on the respect for the principles enshrined in the UN Charter as well as those of transparency, impartiality, non-selectivity and inclusiveness.
The realization of democracy in different countries needs to take into account the economic, political, historical, cultural and religious realities of each and every country. “Democracy” or not is the responsiveness of that country’s government to its people. In a true democracy people are their own masters. The political system reflects people’s will and represents people’s interests. When a country preserves a value of government of the people, by the people and for the people, it is indeed considered a democratic system regardless of what political system, what party system or what election system that country adopts. The Lao PDR adopts people’s democracy, which is one of the many forms of democracy recognized worldwide.
This year, the Lao multi-ethnic people are proudly celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Lao PDR. The country has enjoyed firm political stability, security and social order. The national economy has been developed robustly and rapidly with continued Gross Domestic Product growth. In 2015, the Lao PDR has been able to achieve a GDP per capita of USD 1,857, a sixteen-fold increase compared to that of 1985. Poverty has been alleviated to a great extent, with the number of poor households falling to 6.59% of total households in the country.
The People’s democracy in Lao PDR continues to advance in keeping with the pace of its socio-economic development. It will also maintain its nature and characteristics for it was born of the aspirations of a people who want to be free and independent, to develop themselves and live in peace, as well as of their fine customs and traditions, good demeanor, generosity, hospitality and tolerance.
In the area of governance, the Lao PDR has continued to improve its governance and public administration to be more effective, transparent, accountable, participatory and responsive inproviding better services to the people. The Lao Government has set its vision to build the Lao PDR to be a state governed by the rule of law by 2020 and is committed to the prevention and combating corruption as the rule of law and anti-corruption are part of an effective public governance.
The Lao PDR together with other ASEAN Member States is preparing to launch the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year. Under the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Vision 2025, ASEAN is determined to be a rules-based, people- oriented, people-centered regional organization that, among others, promotes democracy, good governance and the rule of law, promotes and protects human rights and fundamental freedoms, with due regard to the rights and responsibilities of the Member States. In this connection, I wish to commend the adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD), which reaffirms ASEAN’s adherence to the principles of democracy, good governance, people’s participation, inclusivity and accountability. The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration also recognizes that the realization of human rights must be considered in the regional and national context, meaning that democracy, rule of law and human rights have no single model when it comes to their realization at the national level.
The Lao PDR remains committed to carry on its two strategic tasks of safeguarding and building the country, in particular creating a state ruled by law with the aim of ensuring the realization of its cherished slogan: peace, independence, democracy, unity and prosperity. In this spirit, we stand ready to cooperate with the international community to promote democracy and public governance, thus contributing to regional and global peace, stability and development.