Vietnam attends 12th LMI Ministerial Meeting in Thailand hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the event (Photo: VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) – 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).

Co-chaired by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai, the meeting saw the attendance of foreign ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam as well as the ASEAN Secretary General.

Reviewing achievements over the past decade, the meeting held that the LMI has helped improve the Mekong countries’ capacity to sustainably manage water resources, boost agriculture-reliant economy, develop the regional energy market, build sci-tech training network, cope with natural disasters and epidemics, empower women, and upgrade infrastructure.

The ministers applauded the launch of the Mekong Water Data Initiative (MWDI) and its website to improve the role of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and promote the sharing of data in service of forecasting and policymaking.

The ministers also lauded the US’s initiative to incorporate LMI’s projects with needs of localities.

In order to step up LMI’s contributions to dealing with trans-border challenges and boosting sustainable regional development, the ministers agreed to enhance inclusiveness, centrality and effectiveness of LMI.

They vowed to continue supporting MRC’s activities, enhance information sharing and coordination between LMI and partners in the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM), back the Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya - Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy and other cooperation mechanisms among the Mekong countries.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that the Japan-US Mekong Power Partnership will be established to help the Mekong countries ensure sustainable energy security.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh welcomed the US’s contributions to regional development via LMI as well as LMI’s comprehensive approaches to issues regarding water resources, energy, food, women’s role improvement and human resources development, thus making important contributions to the ASEAN Community building.

He highlighted several areas in need of côperation in the future, including enhancing capacity for infrastructure projects, policymaking for Mekong river water resources management and building a contingent of high-quality workforce.

Expressing support for the restoration of FLM mechanism, he said it will rally partners’ involvement to help the region achieve development goals.

The meeting adopted a joint statement marking the 10th anniversary of MLI. On the occasion, the foreign ministers of the Mekong countries, the US and heads of FLM delegations ratified a joint statement on strengthening coordination in FLM.-VNA