Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting focuses on infrastructure hinh anh 1Ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand,Vietnam and US Secretary of State John Kerry (centre) shakes hand at the ninth Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting on Vientiane, Laos, on July 25. (Source: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – The ninth Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting took place in Vientiane, Laos on July 25 on the sidelines of the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting ( AMM-49 ), which focused on developing sustainable infrastructure to serve social-economic development in harmony with environmental protection in the Mekong sub-region.

Ministers agreed on boosting cooperation with member partners of the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM) regional organisations, to promote sustainable development and narrow the development gap between regional countries.

The meeting initiated the “Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership Programme” with the early stages to focus on training and improving capability for infrastructure experts to assist Mekong sub-regional development of sustainable infrastructure.

Besides six priority sectors of health, education, agriculture and food security, regional connection, environment and water resources, and energy, the ministers agreed that the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) will focus on the fields Mekong countries need to address such as climate change, water resources, energy, food security, gender equality and women empowerment – to achieve a balanced and sustainable development in the region.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh affirmed Vietnam is ready to make positive contributions to improve the effectiveness of LMI cooperation to sustainable development in the region.

He also put forward fields of cooperation the LMI will need to promote. Those include supporting Mekong countries to apply a water, energy and food inter-sector approach in building and implement socio-economic development policies; ensuring balance between development and environmental and natural resources protection; boosting cooperation on climate change adaptation; and sustainably manage and use water resources, including Mekong water.

The delegates agreed the 10th LMI Ministerial Meeting will take place on the sideline of AMM 50 in the Philippines in 2017.

The ninth meeting, under the chair of US Secretary of State John Kerry, saw the participation of foreign ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam and ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh.-VNA