The Vientiane Declaration on Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, which will be signed at the High Level Round Table Meeting, departs sharply from the spirit and assurances made during the recent Universal Periodic Review.
A few observations include:
- The document makes no mention of human rights, civil rights or any kind of rights.
- Civil society, NPAs and INGOs are only included in regard to their role in carrying out the development agenda.
- While there are over 50 references to government, and nearly 40 to partners, there is little reference to the Lao people.
- The document does not include the word population. Citizens are mentioned only in terms of receiving services. Indeed, people are only mentioned twice, and those are within the Lao PDR’s name.
- The only reference to community is that of international donors. Ethnic groups or indigenous populations are not mentioned.