Libération: 15 Décembre 2016 Anne-Sophie Gindroz, ancienne directrice de Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation au Laos Fondateur d’une ONG de soutien aux paysans, le leader communautaire Sombath Somphone est porté disparu depuis quatre ans. Les autorités du Laos sont pointées du doigt pour leur autoritarisme et leur politique répressive. Il y a quatre ans, le leader communautaire Sombath Somphone... continue reading.
Above is a word cloud generated from the Vientiane Declaration on Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation from the 2015 High Level Roundtable Meeting. Where are the people? The term only appears three times in the document itself, and those are within the Lao PDR’s name. Other terms such as rights, empowerment, participation, rural, ethnic minority,... continue reading.
Remarks by Ng Shui-Meng, read at the opening of the Asian-Europe People’s forum in Ulaanbataar: Greetings to all participants gathered together at this 11th AEPF in Ulaan Baatar. Once more representatives from civil society groups across Asia and Europe are gathered together for another Asia-Europe People’s Forum. Two years ago I was in Milan at... continue reading.
Sombath continues to be an inspiration to many in Laos and beyond. Those who struggle for justice, for sustainable development, for respect of fundamental rights deserve better than silence. …it is of utmost importance that international community present in Laos clearly condemns his enforced disappearance. It is not enough to ask for an investigation. A... continue reading.
An economy is often defined as “the wealth and resources of a country or region”. Few would contest that the greatest wealth and most fundamental resource for humanity is the earth on which we live; yet most do not see our environment as an economy in itself. Conversely, nearly all contemporary economic and development models... continue reading.
Background and Criteria The classification of Least Developed Country (LDC) was established by the United Nations in 1971. The main purpose was to enhance support those countries facing severe and persistent challenges to economic growth and development. The criteria for LDC status have evolved over time. They currently are: Gross National Income (GNI): The average... continue reading.
By Kearrin Sims Introduction In 2016 it will be 20 years since the Government of Laos (GoL) first announced its goal to graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2020.1 During this time, much has changed. With the exception of a few years following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, economic growth has remained strong and... continue reading.
The Sombath Initiative is sponsoring a writing contest about issues in Laos. Any age or nationality can enter, but Lao youth are especially encouraged to apply. Essays should be about any one of the following topics (Please select one topic only): Sustainable development in Laos Youth and education in Laos Civil society in Laos Entries should be in either Lao or English, and... continue reading.
“The working climate of Lao CSOs, which has been restricted by the government since Sombath’s disappearance, is an outstanding issue, so I wonder if development partners … will be willing to raise it. So far, I see that CSOs operate in fear—being threatened by governmental officials,” the official said. From “Development Partners Must Hold Lao... continue reading.
As Somphone’s abduction highlights, attempts to redistribute power away from national governments towards community-identified needs is a highly politicised endeavour that can result in severe, and often violent, suppression. This is particularly so in non-democratic states. Yet it is not an unachievable shift. Indeed, while the post-2015 agenda has displayed a number of weaknesses in... continue reading.