In his speech to the 62nd General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on October 1, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR, Thongloun Sisoulith, discussed world situations and boasted his country’s progress in poverty reduction.
Mr. Sisoulith said the world presently remains far from tranquil and secure. Many parts still face violence, natural disasters and pandemics; all mankind continues to live under the threat of nuclear weapons, terrorist attacks and the spread of WMDs(weapons of mass destruction). He said the fear will be much greater if these weapons fall into the wrong hands.
Mr. Sisoulith said globalization has offered new opportunities for development, but developing countries have not reaped benefits as they should, due to lack of basic infrastructure, access to markets, modern technology, financing and investment. To ensure greater benefits for these countries and to enable them to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development, and to ensure that these countries can integrate into global economy, Mr. Sisoulith said, the international community has to intensify joint efforts to assist them.
On North Korea, Mr. Sisoulith said Laos welcomes the progress of the six-party talks on North Korea nuclear issue. Laos believes that through committed efforts by all concerned parties, the result of the talks will translate into action and contributing to the eventual denuclearization in the region.
Regarding Cuba, one of the few remaining communist states, the Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said his country reaffirms its continued support for the General Assembly’s resolutions urging for an end to economic sanctions imposed on that island nation.
On the domestic front, Mr. Sisoulith said Laos has enjoyed unwavering peace, political and social stability and economic growth. As a result, the poverty rate declined from 48% in 1990 to 28.7% in 2005; opium cultivation has been eradicated in 2006; the acreage of slash and burn agriculture has been greatly reduced, from 118,900 hectares in 2001 to 29,400 hectares in 2005.
In conclusion, Mr. Sisoulith said Laos reaffirms its commitment to continue cooperating with the international community, and will continue its foreign policy of peace, friendship and cooperation with all countries in the world.
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