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Achieve lagging millennium goals, targets, PM instructs

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has said the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should be continued since the country has fallen short of achieving some of the targets.

Mr Thongloun, also the Chairman of the National Guiding Committee for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), made the proposal in his address to the inaugural meeting of the panel yesterday.

The year 2015 marked the target for achieving the MDGs while the monitoring of SDGs has been implemented since 2016.

“There are some MDG targets we have yet to achieve since the MDG target date of 2015. We have to continue their implementation by integrating with the SDGs,” Mr Thongloun said.

“Do not let them go with their term. We have to implement MDGs alongside the SDGs,” he added.

According to a MDG progress report for Western Pacific Region from the World Health Organisation, the Lao PDR achieved six of the nine health-related targets after making some significant changes.

The country successfully reduced mortality for children aged less than five years by two-thirds, reduced maternal mortality by three-quarters, halted and reversed the spread of malaria and tuberculosis, halved the proportion of the population without improved drinking water and the proportion of the population without sanitation in urban areas.

The United Nations has proposed Laos should represent countries in Asia in introducing its experience of implementing the MDGs. One of the factors behind its notable achievements was the inclusion of UN targets in the Party political view and the five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP).

Despite these notable improvements, major challenges remain, including access to health services in remote areas and for vulnerable groups, the quality of services and protection against health shocks.

Laos is implementing its eighth NSEDP, which began last year.

“We have to discuss how to integrate the MDGs with the plan, and how to implement them in the remaining time of the five-year term,” Mr Thongloun said.

The country, together with the international community, approved in 2015 the global agenda 2030 to target the goals for sustainable development.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vice Chairman and Permanent member of the SDGs guiding Committee, Mr Saleumxay Kommasith, who reported to the meeting on the national SDGs preparation, the government has included the SDGs in the Eighth Plan when it was being drafted and the negotiations on the SDGs were going on in 2013.

During the meeting, the committee agreed on the main principles for implementing the SDGs with the aim of defining related work for each sector. It also agreed to integrate the roundtable process on implementing the SDGs, to harmonise the implementation among sectors and administrative levels, to monitor progress and reporting, to harmonise SDGs with the Eighth Plan and between SDGs and the plan indicators.

Aside from the 17 targets of the UN SDGs, Laos has added one more national target of “SDG 18: Live safe from UXO”, whereby the country aims to achieve the minimum number of injuries and deaths from UXO by 2030, to finish UXO clearance in priority development areas and poor villages, and to ensure all survivors from UXO-related incidents get treatment, rehabilitation and employment.





By Times Reporters
(Latest Update August 11, 2017)

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