Aug 03, 2021 / 15:56

Vietnam welcomes US-Mekong relations for sustainable development

The pandemic and climate change have posed enormous challenges for the Mekong sub-region’s sustainable and inclusive development.

Vietnam welcomes strong partnerships between countries in the Mekong sub-region and the US for sustainable development, especially in the Covid-19 fight and towards the establishment of the ASEAN Community.

 Overview of the online meeting. Source: MoFA

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son gave the remarks at the second online Mekong-US Partnership Ministerial Meeting (MUSP MM) that was co-chaired by Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today [August 3].

According to Son, the pandemic and climate change have been urgent issues and challenges for the region’s sustainable and inclusive development, which requires determination and closer linkage between Mekong countries, ASEAN, and partners.

In this context, Son called for a speedy roll-out of the vaccination program in ASEAN, while pushing for technology transfer and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

“It is imperative for the region to enhance public health capabilities to address future medical challenges,” he noted.

 Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

Son also expected greater resilience against climate change and boost cross-border cooperation in water management; expand linkage in the digital economy, renewables, and infrastructure development; hold a Mekong-US summit to provide policy consultation on Mekong sustainable development.

At the meeting, foreign ministers looked back at one year since the upgrade of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) into Mekong-US Partnership, aiming at tapping on the potential and contributing to the sustainable development of the Mekong sub-region in the post-pandemic period.

They stressed the active contribution of the US for Mekong countries in this regard while recognizing MUSP achievements in the fields of sustainable water source management, environmental protection, climate change, health, education, regional linkage, and infrastructure development.

In the future, the MUSP is expected to continue contributing to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, along with the implementation of sustainable development goals, the ASEAN Community 2025 vision, the ASEAN comprehensive Recovery Framework, narrowing the development gap, and cooperating with other Mekong’s frameworks, including the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), and the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

On this occasion, foreign ministers agreed on action plans in the 2021-2023 period, including stronger linkage in economic cooperation, sustainable water resource management, working on non-traditional security issues, and human resource development.