EU Impressed with Govt Progress on Human Rights

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The European Union (EU) has been impressed with the progress made by the Lao government on human rights, while wanting it to have a concrete plan to implement the commitments to the international community.

This message was offered by diplomatic representatives from the EU at a press conference held in Vientiane on Friday to tell the media about the EU’s view on progress made by the international community concerning human rights.

This year’s December 10 marked the 68th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Marking the date this year, the United Nations has called upon people to “stand up for someone’s rights.”

Speaking at the press conference, EU Ambassador Leo Faber made mention about the achievements made by the Lao government in this regard, especially its ratification of the main core international human rights conventions that protect and defend the rights of the most vulnerable individuals.

Mr Faber noted the government’s acceptance of most of the recommendations made through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and established a human rights mechanism such as the national steering committee for human rights, which he said was a very specialised commission.

“This is a very important achievement for the Lao PDR,” the ambassador said.

In his turn, German Ambassador to Laos, Mr Michael Grau spoke about the role of the Lao National Assembly (NA) and the people’s trust in the legislative body in its moves to adapt to new global challenges and building the future of the Lao society as a state governed by the rule of law.

Mr Grau also mentioned the establishment of provincial people’s assemblies, saying the country’s parliamentary system has a better chance than ever to communicate with people at all levels of the society, including people at the district and village levels.

“Members of the NA and the members of provincial people’s assemblies can now communicate with people at the district and village levels much more easily than before, take up their voices and bring people’s concerns to the higher levels of politics and government,” Mr Grau said, adding that the NA members and members of the people’s assemblies have a mandate to protect the rights of their people.

The NA hotline opening was noted by the ambassador as a new channel for communication between the government and people of the country, which has helped the government in learning people’s opinions, and facilitated people to monitor the government’s work for the country.

This supports the agreement between the government and its development partners on the enhancement of participation by all sectors and people in the nation’s development.

Aside from its impressions, the EU has an expectation of more efforts from the government such as the elaboration of an action plan to implement the recommendations through the UPR that it has committed to. The EU also wanted the country to ratify the other core conventions which it has not yet ratified, and the EU will encourage the Lao government to do that and also to implement them, according to Ambassador Faber.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

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