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ASEAN + 3 Discuss Integrated Rural Development
Source: kplnet.net
Source Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Focus: Information Access, Health
Created: Aug 30, 2010

(KPL) The Lao National Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication yesterday hosted an ASEAN+3 regional workshop on integrated rural development.

World Bank statistics show 1.4 billion people in the world live in extreme poverty. Thus, poverty is indeed a global issue, said Mr. Mek Phanlack, Acting-President of the Lao National Leading Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication.

The United Nations has called for a summit next month to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In most developing countries, covering the larger superficies of the countries, rural areas are the living place of the people’s majority who are mostly considered poor and vulnerable, according to Mr. Mek.

Most of the ASEAN countries are not an exception, most particularly the new members of the association Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) thus the rural development is usually in line with the poverty eradication.

While the overall ASEAN poverty rate has been decreasing, ASEAN are witnessing the increase in the endogenous development gap between urban and rural areas within the country and also the persistence of the gap among ASEAN member countries.

In fact, the ASEAN exogenous gap dose not reside only the different urban areas but most of all the rural areas. Thus in order to narrow the development gap among ASEAN countries, ultimately to achieve the MDGs and ASEAN Community, it is crucial to devote efforts in the Integrated Rural Development, said Mr. Mek.

Laos is preparing itself for the next five-year socio-economic development plan towards the achievement of 2020 vision as having the country removed from the UN list of least developed countries.

Present at the workshop were Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP in Laos, Mr. Ian Holland, representatives of line ministries, agencies, ASEAN secretariat, and ASEAN ambassadors to Laos.
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