Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung at the sixth ASEM Seminar on Water Resources Management and Sustainable Development (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung called on the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to take more specific and drastic actions to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

He was speaking at the sixth ASEM Seminar on Water Resources Management and Sustainable Development, themed “Integrated water resources management for sustainable development,” in Pakse province, Laos, on October 25.

The ambassador underlined the need to have comprehensive access to water resources management, integrate water resources management into sustainable development strategies of each country and cooperation areas of ASEM.

Apart from enhancing practical collaboration between localities along the Mekong-Danube Rivers, ASEM should step up partnerships regionally and globally towards sustainable development, Hung said.

Vietnam has attaches importance and actively contributed to regional and international cooperation mechanisms on sustainable water resources management, Hung noted.

With the support of the UN, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank (WB) and development partners, Vietnam and other countries along the Mekong River have implemented cooperation programmes within the framework of the Mekong, he said.

Vietnam shared the Mekong River countries’ wish of expanding the partnership with the EU and countries along the Danube River through dialogues, initiatives and specific cooperation projects, the ambassador stressed.

Addressing the event, Lao Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bounkham Vorachith affirmed that the Lao Government committed to developing and managing water resources in Laos in a synchronous and sustainable manner, and to continuing cooperation within the framework of ASEM.

During the seminar, which lasts until October 26, the delegates focus their discussions on water resources management at national and regional levels, covering Europe and Asia, measures to develop the water sector between ASEM nations and relevant parties, and cooperation in water affairs between European and Asian nations.

The discussions, together with initiatives to be implemented in the time ahead, will prepare for the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, and the 12th ASEM Summit in Brussels, Belgium, in 2018.

At the 11th ASEM Summit in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, in July 2016, Asian and European leaders prioritised cross-border water resources management cooperation.

They agreed to strengthen Mekong-Danube cooperation to turn challenges to water, food and energy security into opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development.-VNA