Six amended laws and two new draft laws, along with national plans and strategies, are being debated at the National Assembly (NA) intersession programmed in Thalath, Vientiane province.The debate session runs from Monday until Thursday this week, with international experts in attendance. The newly amended laws cover Civil Procedure,
Criminal Procedure, State Audit, Agriculture, State Assets, and Sports/Gymnastics. The newly drafted legislation comprises the Law on Offender Extradition, and Law on Laws. The NA intersession programmed will also discuss the draft Socio-Economic and State Budget plans for next fiscal year, a draft of theStrategy on Land Policy and Natural Resources, and a draft Strategy on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication for2012-2013. The National Assembly’s intersession programmed is organized twice a year under the sponsorship of the United Nations Development Programmed (UNDP). It aims to build the capacity of the National Assembly, especially by improving members’ knowledge of various issues. It also assists counselor units by bolstering the quality of their work. “This intersession programmed is particularly significant because all of these topics will benefit the participants, particularly NA members whose role is to consider and approve issues of national importance,” NA Vice President Xaysomphone Phomvihane said in his opening remarks. The discussions will also bolster the knowledge of experts in various areas,
Providing clear information for high-level leaders, he added. The intersession programmed is important and timely as it provides NA members with a platform to discuss and carefully consider current development issues. According to the UNDP resident representative, economic growth in Laos brings significant challenges: to balance a growing economy in a highly competitive environment in the region whilst at the same time ensuring that the poor and vulnerable groups’ rights and needs are fully considered. Addressing the session, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Laos, Mr. Minh Pham, said “To that end I believe it will be very important for the NA to act as a conduit through which citizens’ voices can be articulated about how citizens, the ultimate customers of public sector goods and service delivery, believe that government is performing.” He believed the three draft strategies and the State Budget would all bring the issues associated with national planning together more starkly, and that the Assembly will be deliberating the draft Strategy on Land Policy and Natural Resources. The European Union is a co-sponsor of the intersession programmed. The EU Delegation’s Charge d’Affaires to Laos Mr. Michel Goff in said the intersession programmed is
an excellent opportunity for exchange between NA members and members of the government on how to promote an equitable and sustainable development strategy to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) and eradicate poverty. “This will help you to achieve the MDGs and eradicate poverty not just for 2015 and the life of this government, but for this and future generations,” he said.
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