U Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs attended the Second Mekong-US Partnership Ministerial Meeting, which was held via videoconferencing on the morning of 3 August 2021, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nay Pyi Taw.
The meeting was cochaired by the Mr Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia and Mr Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States with the attendance of Foreign Ministers from the Mekong member countries; Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam. ASEAN Secretary-General also participated in the meeting.
At the meeting, the Foreign Ministers and the Secretary of State reviewed the progress of one-year collaboration between Mekong countries and the United States under the Partnership. Moreover, they exchanged views on the matters of how the Mekong-US Partnership can contribute to the sustainable development and prosperity of the Mekong sub-region in future.
In the statement, Union Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin expressed his appreciation to the United States for its COVID-19 assistance to the Mekong countries and made the request to provide more assistance including the COVID-19 vaccine to Myanmar to save the lives of the peoples.
The Union Minister stated the “Mekong-US Partnership” should better assist the peoples of the Mekong region towards sustainable inclusive development based on its principles of consensus, equality and non-intervention. He also welcomed the adoption of the “MUSP Plan of Action (2021- 2023)” which includes cooperation programmes in the areas of education, youth, empowerment, energy and environmental conservation.
Moreover, the Union Minister underscored the importance of information sharing in the implementation of the new Plan of Action for better efficiency and effectiveness and suggested giving dedicated attention to the cooperation on MSMEs, service sector, and trade and investment for post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
He also acknowledged the United States' proposals to have “MUSP Policy Small Group” for establishing direct communication between government officials of Mekong countries and the United States, and “MUSP Gender Equality Policy Dialogue” for gender equality and women empowerment.
The meeting adopted the “Mekong-US Partnership Plan of Action (2021-2023)” which was designed to generate tangible benefits to member countries.
Senior Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present at the meeting.
“Mekong-US Partnership” was established in 2020 based upon the legacy of former “Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI)” between Mekong Countries and the United States in response to current and future needs, and to address the challenges of Mekong Region for sustainable inclusive development. — MNA