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Laos to strive for Millennium Development Goals last lap, 2010-2015, Lao President

Laos to strive for Millennium Development Goals last lap, 2010-2015, Lao President

(KPL) President Choummaly Sayasone of the Lao People�s Democratic Republic said that the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals at the global level had already achieved progress but a closer look at its implementation at the country level showed the existence of wide gaps and that in some cases this had been even widening.

Speaking at the MDG Summit in New York, 20 September, he also said that as many countries had been facing a series of challenges, climate change and financial crisis, and these acted as strong headwinds to the attainment of MDG.

Mr-Choummaly-Sayasone-UN-ff.jpg"Since we are only five more years away to achieve all our MDGs, at this gathering we thus should network with one another to find out the best practices and lessons and so to enable all of us to work harder than ever to meet our objectives during the last lap," added the President.

Referring to Laos, the President said that in 2003, Laos adopted the National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy and at a later date this was included in the National Social Economic Development Plan, 2006-2010.

The five-year plans enabled Laos to achieve sustained economic growth, which laid a strong foundation for the country to make progress for its MDG goals.

For the fifth 5-Year Plan, 2001-2005, Laos enjoyed an economic growth rate of 6.2 per cent and for the current plan, 2006-2010, it would strive to achieve the annual growth rate of 7 per cent.

Such a rate of economic growth enabled Laos to reduce poverty from 48 per cent in 1990 to 26 per cent in 2009.

Laos had also become more gender friendly during this period, clearly indicated by the fact that 25 per cent of the parliamentarians in the Lao National Assembly were women.

During the same period, Laos also made progress in the social and cultural sectors, as the enrollment rate of primary school children shot up from 58 per cent in 1991 to 84 per cent in 2005 and the maternal mortality rate plunged, from 650 in 1995 to 405 cases per 100,000 live births in 2005. Infant mortality rate also went down, from 104 to 70 per 1,000 live-births in 2005.

However, Laos must not rest on its laurels as it still faced numerous challenges.

Laos is a vulnerable and least developed country and thus was affected by the financial crisis and climate change, which acted as constraints to the attainment of MDGs.

Against this backdrop, Laos must redouble its efforts to seek resources, domestic and external, in order to advance certain key sectors, such as training for its human resources, improve its education system and develop its infrastructure and in reference to the last, transportation and communication linkages.

Laos reflected on the lessons that it had learnt over the past 10 years and concluded that while domestic forces played a critical role in the attainment of MDGs, but without the assistance from international community, Laos would have encountered many more problems in its efforts to achieve the objectives by a certain date.

Then, the President expressed thanks to the international community, especially to the donors and friendly countries, including international organisations, for their continued support to Laos over the years and hoped they would continue.



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