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Statement by Her Excellency Mme. Phonevanh OUTHAVONG, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, At the Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

Thursday, 21 September 2023


Distinguished Delegates,  

  1. At the outset, my delegation would like to express our sincere appreciation to you Mr. Chair and join the previous speakers in commending Nepal, Chair of the Coordinating Bureau, for its able stewardship of our Group.

Mr. Chair,

  1. We meet at a critical juncture when the international community is facing multiple challenges and crises particularly affecting the LDCs severely, further exacerbating their already existing structural vulnerabilities and extreme poverty. Moreover, it is disheartening to witness that the hard-earned development progress and achievements made by the LDCs over the past decade has been undeniably set back and the aspiration for LDC graduation has been compromised.


  1. In this connection, it is our strong hope that the effective implementation of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) and its key deliverables will contribute significantly to our recovery efforts and bringing LDCs back on track in the pursuit of national development, making tangible progress towards achieving the objectives of the 2030 Agenda. To this end, it is more crucial than ever for the LDCs, development partners, and relevant stakeholders to redouble our collective efforts to find solutions, which are not only transformative, but also more practical, effective, action-oriented, sustainable, and tailored to the most pressing needs and challenges of the LDCs, so the most vulnerable people are not left behind.


  1. At national level, the Lao PDR remains committed to achieving the targets set in the DPoA through the implementation of our national strategies and 5-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) in which relevant priorities of the DPoA have been integrated. While we are in the graduation process, our government has embarked on the finalization of the Smooth Transition Strategy, which is a policy framework tailored to the country’s specific needs and supports a smooth, quality, and sustainable graduation toward 2026 and beyond. The preparation of the national STS has been conducted through the “whole-of-government” approach and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders, responding to the national development needs and priorities.  


  1. The STS covers 4 thematic pillars, 9 policy areas, and 22 specific actions deriving from existing development frameworks while identifying new actions, including negotiating trade-related issues with bilateral and multilateral trading partners, safeguarding investment in human capital and social protection, enhancing the engagement of the private sector and mobilizing private finance, and mainstreaming climate action and environmental protection including through disaster risk reduction to ensure the flow of green, sustainable, and high-quality foreign direct investments.

Mr. Chair,

  1. Graduating from the LDC status necessitates not only the unwavering commitment and tangible actions of national governments but also the continued and collective support of the international community. Therefore, sustained partnerships, cooperation, and international assistance throughout the graduation process, the transitional phase, and beyond remain crucial. In this context, we earnestly call upon the international community to extend its support in several vital domains including support for the promotion of export diversification, facilitating accessible and adaptable climate mitigation and adaptation financing on concessional terms, promoting the transfer of relevant technology and capacity-building, and fulfill the ODA commitments for the LDCs.

Mr. Chair,

  1. I would like to conclude by reiterating the Lao PDR’s determination to implement the DPoA. The Lao PDR remains committed to continue working closely with all partners, UN system, international financial institutions, and trading partners to achieve the key deliverables set by DPoA. We count on the continued support and cooperation in the implementation of our national STS once adopted.

I thank you!