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A youthful celebration including hip hop and contemporary dance, pop music and drama performances by young people was organized on July 11th, at the National Cultural Hall, by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to mark the World Population Day 2013.

This year, the World Population Day highlighted the need to "promote Adolescent Girls' wellbeing for a better Laos". More than 60% of the population in Laos is under 25 years old and at least half of them are girls. With the right skills and opportunities, girls can invest in themselves, and support their families, communities and build a healthy nation. However, in many cases, unplanned pregnancies threaten the rights, health, education and potential of many adolescent girls, robbing them of a bright future.

The event was chaired by H.E Dr. Khamlien Pholsena, Deputy Minister of MPI who said "it is well documented, that the risk of maternal mortality is highest for adolescent girls for various reasons. Complications during pregnancy, childbirth and or after are the leading cause of deaths among adolescent girls in most developing countries including Lao PDR. Therefore, towards reducing maternal deaths, it is important to work towards eliminating unplanned adolescent pregnancy."

Dr. Esther Muia, UNFPA Representative said "Adolescents and youth must be provided with age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education to develop the knowledge and skills they need to protect their health throughout their lives. However, education and information are not enough. Good quality reproductive health services must also be readily available in order for adolescents to make informed choices and be healthy and we commend the efforts of the government in this area."

The activity saw the participation of 50 young artists including the popular singer Alouna and the dance groups Hoppin and Fang Lao. The audience had the opportunity to visit an exhibition displaying projects and initiatives from different Government organizations, UN agencies and development partners working with young people in Lao PDR.

During the event, the Center for Information and Education on Health (CIEH) from MoH took the opportunity to launch a comic book to promote the use of condom among young people as a way to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. The comic, supported by UNFPA, is titled "Condoms: A decision for life" and will be distributed for free at health centres, hospitals and youth centres all over the country.

In addition to the activities, UNFPA launched its new Facebook fanpage ( with the aim to establish a direct dialogue with the youth and the friends of the Youth in Lao PDR. "Our goal is to listen to the voices of young people, exchange points of view and take actions. You, boys and girls, are part of the solution"said Dr. Muia, who invited the audience to click like and keep connected with UNFPA through Facebook.


Check out how this year’s #WorldPopDay was celebrated by UNFPA and young people in #Laos

— UNFPA (@UNFPA) September 12, 2013

The World Population Day 2013 was organized by MPI and UNFPA with support from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Lao National Commission of the Advancement of Women, Lao Women's Union and Lao Youth Union.

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Diego De La Rosa
Advocacy and Communications Officer
United Nations Population Fund Tel: 856-21-315547 ext 116