(VOV) – Vietnam attaches high importance to and prioritizes efforts to develop and use water resources of the Mekong River Basin effectively and sustainably in the context of global climate change, affirmed Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh.
The deputy PM made the statement at the seventh Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Ministerial Meeting and the fourth Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM) Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of the 47th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in Myanmar on August 9.
He expressed Vietnam’s desire to further co-ordinate with other regional countries and development partners to protect water resources in the Mekong River.
Minh also proposed boosting cooperation and conducting further dialogues within the LMI and FLM frameworks, especially supporting socio-economic development, strengthening connectivity, narrowing the development gap between ASEAN members and helping the Mekong River Commission to enhance research capacity, forecast work on the impact of hydroelectric dams in the Mekong River.
The seventh LMI examined opportunities and challenges for sustainable development in the Mekong River Basin and proposed concrete cooperative measures to reduce development gap, and speed up regional economic integration towards an ASEAN community by 2015.
In a joint statement, the ministers said in the next five years, the LMI cooperative programme will focus on implementing six major projects including connecting smart infrastructure for the Mekong region through training communication skills for leaders, setting up start-up centres and preventing infectious diseases.
The fourth FLM meeting also agreed to strengthen cooperation in regional connectivity, sustainable management of water resources and environmental protection in the Mekong River basin. The ministers have committed to building partnership at all levels to cope with challenges in the Mekong region.
Meanwhile, many development partners such as the European Union, Australia, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, have committed to supporting Mekong River nations in managing water resources sustainably, and building smart infrastructure, safe energy and agriculture to adapt to climate change.
The EU decided to triple its aid to regional nations in the 2014-2020 period and agreed to organise a special FLM at the deputy ministerial level on sustainable development in Laos in late 2014 or early 2015.