Lower Mekong nations step up ties with friends hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the eighth Lower Mekong Initiative ( LMI ) Ministerial Meeting in Malaysia last August (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The eighth Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Regional Working Group Meeting and the first meeting of the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM) Working Group were convened in Hanoi on December 15.

The events brought together senior officials from Lower Mekong countries, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, and those from the FLM which is comprised of the US, Australia, Japan and the European Commission, among others.

The eighth LMI Regional Working Group Meeting is meant to actualise the outcomes of the eighth Lower Mekong Initiative ( LMI ) Ministerial Meeting in Malaysia last August.

The participants looked into the LMI Plan of Action for 2016-2020 and approved the list of specific projects and activities proposed by the LMI countries and the US in service of the realisation of the plan in the next five years.

High on the agenda were issues regarding sustainable preservation of shared natural resources through water, energy and food security, gender equality promotion and women empowerment.

The officials also made proposals for better operation of the LMI and coordination with the FLM in implementing LMI projects and settling challenges in balancing water, energy and food security.

They also discussed how to mobilise resources, including financial resources, for LMI cooperation, and to draw the participation of the private sector in the LMI collaboration.

The two-day events are being jointly held by the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Department of State.

The Lower Mekong Initiative was created in response to the July 23, 2009 meeting between the US Secretary of State and the Foreign Ministers of Lower Mekong countries in Phuket, Thailand.-VNA