Friends of the Mekong Commit to Coordination and Collaboration at Senior Officials’ Meeting

June 7, 2024

VIENTIANE, Lao PDR – Today, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Melissa A. Brown chaired the Friends of Mekong (FOM) Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) held in Vientiane, Lao PDR.  The Mekong River Commission hosted the meeting.  Deputy Assistant Secretary Brown reaffirmed the United States’ goal for synergy and complementarity between the MUSP and likeminded Mekong+1 mechanisms through the FOM, under the guiding principles of openness, transparency, sustainability, and inclusive growth.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator Michael Schiffer joined the in-person meeting to inform members on USAID programs in the region and open discussions on a strategic vision for engagement in the Mekong subregion.  Friends of the Mekong members – the Asian Development Bank, Australia, the European Union, Japan, the Mekong River Commission Secretariat, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, and the World Bank, together with the United States and the Mekong countries – shared summaries of key activities and engagements in the region in an effort to improve coordination, identify gaps, and explore opportunities for collaboration.  Members expressed support for implementing tools to enhance further cooperation and bolster the capacity of locally-led organizations to address Mekong priorities.

Representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, India, and the United Kingdom participated in the meeting as observers.

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