New UN Resident Coordinator Presents Credentials To Lao Government

(KPL) Ms. Sara Sekkenes presented her credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith on May 3, 2019, officially taking up her role as the new United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Lao PDR.

Ms. Sekkenes is the first person who focuses entirely on strategic leadership of and support to the UN Country Team, which consists of UN development organizations present in the Lao PDR. Until December 2018, the United Nations Resident Coordinator also acted as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative.

In May 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to reform the global UN Development System, transforming its structure and leadership. The reform aims to strengthen the coherence of UN organizations’ work to maximize the resources and contributions in the best interest of the people.

As the most senior UN Official in Laos, Ms. Sekkenes will lead the UN Country Team of 16 UN organizations in its support to the national development priorities in line with the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She is the representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Lao PDR.

For the United Nations, 2019 marks the beginning of a new era as the Resident Coordinator System delinks from UNDP. However, it is not new for the UN in the Lao PDR to deliver results in a coordinated way, as one. With the Lao PDR � United Nations Partnership Framework (2017-2021) guiding our work, we will continue our support to the Government to reach its aspirations of by 2030 becoming an upper middle-income country, where all people benefit equally from quality services, including those most vulnerable, Ms. Sekkenes stated.

Working with the United Nations since 2006, Ms. Sekkenes most recently served as UNDP’s conflict prevention partnership adviser, engaging in prevention of violence, control of arms and mine action work.

Prior to her UNDP assignment, she worked with the non-governmental organization Norwegian People’s Aid, based in Mozambique, Angola and Serbia, on global landmine and cluster munitions campaigns.

A national of Norway, Ms. Sekkenes holds a Master from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden in the field of Human and Physical Geography and additional university degrees in Development Studies and Political Geography. She speaks English, French and Norwegian.

Source: Lao News Agency