The 12th Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Ministerial Meeting took place in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 1, on the sidelines of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-52).
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the event
Co-chaired by US Secretary ofState Mike Pompeo and Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai, themeeting saw the attendance of foreign ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmarand Vietnam as well as the ASEAN Secretary General.
Reviewing achievements over thepast decade, the meeting held that the LMI has helped improve the Mekongcountries’ capacity to sustainably manage water resources, boost agriculture-relianteconomy, develop the regional energy market, build sci-tech training network, copewith natural disasters and epidemics, empower women, and upgrade infrastructure.
The ministers applauded thelaunch of the Mekong Water Data Initiative (MWDI) and its website to improvethe role of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and promote the sharing of datain service of forecasting and policymaking.
The ministers also lauded the US’sinitiative to incorporate LMI’s projects with needs of localities.
In order to step up LMI’scontributions to dealing with trans-border challenges and boosting sustainableregional development, the ministers agreed to enhance inclusiveness, centralityand effectiveness of LMI.
They vowed to continue supportingMRC’s activities, enhance information sharing and coordination between LMI andpartners in the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM), back the Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya - MekongEconomic Cooperation Strategy and other cooperation mechanisms among the Mekongcountries.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that the Japan-USMekong Power Partnership will be established to help the Mekong countriesensure sustainable energy security.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister andForeign Minister Pham Binh Minh welcomed the US’s contributions to regionaldevelopment via LMI as well as LMI’s comprehensive approaches to issuesregarding water resources, energy, food, women’s role improvement and humanresources development, thus making important contributions to the ASEANCommunity building.
He highlighted several areas in need of côperation in thefuture, including enhancing capacity for infrastructure projects, policymaking forMekong river water resources management and building a contingent ofhigh-quality workforce.
Expressing support for the restoration of FLM mechanism, hesaid it will rally partners’ involvement to help the region achieve developmentgoals.
The meeting adopted a joint statement marking the 10th anniversary of MLI. On the occasion, the foreign ministers of the Mekongcountries, the US and heads of FLM delegations ratified a joint statement onstrengthening coordination in FLM.-VNA