"Bridges" in the Lao PDR starting in November 2018
Message of Welcome
by HE Thongloun Sisoulith
Prime Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and
Lao Honorary Chairman of "BRIDGES"
It is a true privilege to serve as Honorary Chairman of the 7th ASEAN event series "Bridges - Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace" in the Lao PDR. On this auspicious occasion I would like to express my sincere thanks to His Serene Highness Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein, the International Peace Foundation's Advisory Board Chairman, and to Mr. Uwe Morawetz, the IPF's Founding Chairman, for bringing this noble dialogue to the Lao PDR and for the excellent arrangements in making these very first "Bridges" events in our country possible.
It is also my great pleasure to extend my warmest welcome to the Nobel Laureates in the fields of Economics, Chemistry, Physics and Medicine who will visit the Lao PDR from November 2018 to March 2019 to share their rich knowledge and experiences with all participants. I truly hope that this series of lectures given by the renowned Nobel Laureates will provide unique and excellent opportunities for us to enhance our understanding and to deepen our knowledge in the related fields.
As you may be aware, the Lao PDR is a country of diverse cultures. Throughout its long history the Lao multi-ethnic people have gone through numerous difficulties, the legacy of war has left behind daunting obstacles for advancing our national development process. Those bitter experiences have shaped us to value peace and prosperity. Therefore our people have always adhered to the principles of peaceful coexistence and worked closely with the international community to promote mutually beneficial cooperation, global peace, security and peaceful solutions to all conflicts.
As a least developed and landlocked country the Lao PDR continues to encounter numerous challenges in its socio-economic development, including poverty eradication, narrowing development gaps, improving public health, education and living standards, while importantly addressing the impact of unexploded ordnance (UXO) left by the Indochina war, which still continues to hinder the national socio-economic development and poses major threats to our people's lives across the country.
It is my firm belief that the 7th ASEAN event series "Bridges - Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace" this and next year will be a meaningful forum for all participants, not only to have a chance to benefit from the wisdom of the esteemed Nobel Laureates in terms of further enhancing views in the related academic fields, but also to discuss the current situation of the world in the context of promoting a culture of peace and mutually beneficial cooperation.
I wish the 7th ASEAN event series "Bridges - Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace" a great success.