Govt, foreign diplomats celebrate Lao National Day

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Foreign diplomats met with President Bounnhang Vorachit, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and other Party and state leaders to extend their best wishes to Laos as the country celebrates the 44th anniversary of the foundation of the republic.

At a meeting held at the Presidential Palace, the Philippine Ambassador to Laos, Ms Belinda M. Ante, represented the diplomatic corps in delivering a speech to extend best wishes to Lao leaders and people on the occasion of National Day, which occurred on Monday.

“In my capacity as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, I am honoured to extend, on behalf of all ambassadors accredited to Laos, our warmest congratulations to Your Excellencies, the government and people of the Lao PDR as you commemorate the 44th anniversary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic,” she said.

According to Ms Ante, the Lao government and people have much to celebrate and should be proud of their achievements over the past 44 years. These successes include the maintenance of strong economic growth and the reduction of poverty and hunger.

The government has also seen significant success in the improvement and expansion of education and health services, as well as promoting friendship and cooperation with Mekong, Asean and Asian neighbours, she said.

Ms Ante said the international community welcomed the resolve of President Bounnhang Vorachit and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to strengthen governance as well as attempt to address economic difficulties amidst external and internal challenges.

She said development partners looked forward to working with the government to implement the national development plan, which aimed to reduce poverty throughout the country. Cooperation will be carried out through increasing trade investment, and government-to-government and people-to-people interactions.

The international community would be ready to stand alongside the government to effectively manage disasters, which have increased in Laos in recent years, she added.

In response to the good wishes of the diplomatic corps, President Bounnhang Vorachit, on behalf of the Party and government, thanked foreign diplomats for spending their valuable time to offer congratulations on the occasion of National Day and the upcoming International New Year.

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, and international organisations in Laos, for her kind words to Laos and its people,” the president said.

He said that the congratulations and good wishes offered by the diplomatic corps would serve as a great source of inspiration for the government and people to continue the task of national development, which will follow a sustainable and green direction. Development efforts are geared towards liberating Laos from Least Developed Country status in the near future.

President Bounnhang expressed appreciation for the enormous assistance provided by friendly nations and international organisations to Laos in its efforts to recover from natural disasters. He also expressed sympathy to other countries that had suffered natural disasters and hoped they would soon be able to recover.

The president also highlighted UNESCO’s inscription of the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province as Laos’ third world heritage site after Luang Prabang and Vat Phou Champassak. On behalf of the Lao government and people, he thanked the inter-governmental world heritage committee for their support and invited its members to explore the new world heritage site and other tourist attractions in Laos.

President Bounnhang also reiterated the political commitment of the Lao PDR to join forces with the international community to create an essential foundation for the maintenance of a peaceful environment.

He said peace would play an important role in supporting the development and improvement of people’s lives throughout the world and would ensure the effective implementation of the 2030 UN Agenda.

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