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Visit by UN human rights chief bolsters international ties for Laos

By The Star

June 17, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): A visit to Laos by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights last week paved the way for closer regional and international cooperation on human rights.

This was the first visit to Laos by a United Nations human rights chief and saw the High Commissioner Mr Volker Türk and his delegation arrive on June 7 for talks with senior government officials.

His visit comes at a time when Laos is not only the Chair of Asean but also the Chair of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.

Türk met with Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Saleumxay Kommasith, and the Vice President of the National Assembly, Sounthone Xayachack.

Mr Türk praised past cooperation between the Lao government and UN High Commissioners for Human Rights and congratulated the government on safeguarding human rights in Laos, as well as supporting the UN Treaty on human rights.

Talks centred on gender equality, enforcement of the human rights law, and people’s rights in the spheres of economics, society and culture.

Senior government officials highlighted the achievements of the 9th five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan, and implementation of the National Agendas aimed at addressing economic and financial problems and the drug trade.

The UN delegation also heard about Laos’ plans to deal with unexploded ordnance, poverty reduction, and the promotion of human rights among all ethnic groups.

As Laos is the chair of Asean this year and also the chair of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, it has taken the initiative to promote cooperation in human rights affairs in Asean.

Laos appointed a Special Envoy of the Asean Chair on Myanmar to assist Myanmar with the implementation of the 5 Agreements of Asean leaders (5 Point Consensus) aimed at finding a peaceful and sustainable solution to the ongoing conflict in the country.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner also met with the Special Envoy of the Asean Chair on Myanmar, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, and Laos’ representative to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, Mr Yong Chanthalangsy.

The UN delegation also held talks with officials at the Department of Treaties and Laws of the Ministry Foreign Affairs which acts as the secretariat for the Lao National Committee on Human Rights, and also attended a seminar on human rights and the environment.

The seminar took place at the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the National University of Laos, with a focus on people’s right to a clean, safe and sustainable environment. -

Vientiane Times/ANN



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