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UK parliament delegation completes visit to Laos

On Saturday, February 27, a delegation from the Westminster Foundation for Democracy led by Lord Andrew Stunell finished its visit to Laos.

Delegation meeting the Lao NA
Dr. Xaisomphone Phomvihane (right) and Lord Andrew Stunell (left) discussing potential areas for UK support to the National Assembly

The delegation included Lord Stunell, who has served for 18 years in the UK’s House of Commons and was appointed to the House of Lords last year, and Victoria Hasson a parliamentary advisor for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. The visit was arranged by the British Embassy Vientiane and supported by the UK’s Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy.

Meeting with ICPMS
Delegation meets the international cooperation department of the Lao National Assembly

As part of several meetings and discussions at the National Assembly of Lao PDR they were received by Dr. Xaisomphone Phomvihane, Vice President of the National Assembly and Dr. Koukeo Akkhamontry, President of the National Assembly’s Foreign Relations Committee. In these meetings the National Assembly introduced the delegation to its reform agenda and proposed several projects for consideration for UK support.

Official reception for the delegation by the Lao National Assembly
Official reception for the delegation by the Lao National Assembly

The delegation then also consulted with current development partners to the National Assembly, including the European Union, UNDP, GIZ, and SDC, hearing their experiences as well as recommendations. Last but not least they also heard the voice of civil society stakeholders and NGOs working with the civil society including Helvetas, Oxfam and the Lao Positive Health Association.

As a next step the Westminster Foundation for Democracy will prepare an assessment report on the state of the Lao National Assembly and propose potential areas of cooperation and support.

Published 3 March 2016