Despite the country having made good achievements in foreign affairs, the lack of skills among young civil servants remains a challenge for the sector.
This finding was revealed at the annual meeting of the sector, which continues in Vientiane this week, with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Saleumxay Kommasith presiding over the gathering.
This year has been noted as a year of success for Laos in foreign affairs, with the country serving as ASEAN chair and hosting several important regional events, especially the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits, which have also highlighted the country’s success in its diplomacy.
Despite the successes, Laos still needs to improve the skills and talents of the personnel in the sector to meet with the requirements of regional and international integration.
Speaking at the meeting yesterday, a representative from Vientiane’s Department of International Relations noted the participation of all residents in the capital in hosting the big events, which he said contributed to their success.
Meanwhile, he said his department still faced difficulties in terms of the capabilities of its personnel, especially their knowledge of the English language .
The majority of personnel in my department graduated from the National University of Laos but their work performance was poor, the official said, adding that the capable ones are those who graduated from institutes in Vietnam and China.
According to him, the young civil servants performed satisfactorily but they did not have skills in terms of compiling reports.
The ministry has around 1,000 personnel in total, of whom 250 people are implementing their mandates in overseas locations.
A representative from the ministry’s Department of International Organisations gave his assessment that the country is fifty percent prepared for international integration, noting that preparedness in human resources is a crucial component in this respect.
He called for a greater focus on enhancing the enthusiasm of civil servants and government employees to be active in their work and also continuously studying and learning.
Regarding foreign affairs personnel in the army, an official from the Ministry of National Defence’s Foreign Relations Department, Colonel Khamsene Mahavong told the meeting about concerns in regards to the development of successors in this section of the army.
He said even though they have worked for the ministry for two or three years, the newly recruited generation could not manage to write proposals to other departments and organisations within.
He proposed that leaders and commanders enhance their attention in relation to addressing the challenges.
In his view, many people received their bachelor’s and master’s degrees only on paper, and they will gain real knowledge and skills only after three to five-years of work experience.
Training accompanied by practice in their places of work is a necessary channel for the skills development of personnel, according to Col Khamsene.
He also agreed with the need for knowledge and skills in foreign languages, especially English language, which was taken as a very important component of knowledge for public servants in the era of international integration.
He told the audience that the Ministry of National Defence had achieved success in hosting an ASEAN meeting on the defence sector without using translators from outside the ministry.
Source: Vientiane Times