United States, South Korea, and Mekong River Commission Partnership Launches

Senior officials from the United States, Republic of Korea, and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) launched cooperation on July 20 on water data utilization and capacity building for the Mekong region. The partnership will see specialists and scientists from Korea Water Resources Corporation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and NASA provide at least six training events to professionals from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam on various decision-support system topics, including modelling, water data utilization and knowledge transfer.

Mekong Heroes: Vietnam

Meet Ngoc Tuyet, a first-generation engineering student at Can Tho University and a participant in USAID’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) Program. As a first-generation student and woman in a male-dominated field, Tuyet tells viewers about her motivation behind pursuing a STEM degree and discusses how her participation in EPICS has positively shaped her life and professional aspirations. Subtitled versions available for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

“Strengthening Sustainable Seed System for the Lower Mekong Countries” Workshop June 8-10, 2021

Mekong-U.S. Partnership Virtual Workshop will be organized by ‘The Asia and Pacific Seed Association’ on 8- 10 June 2021 as a virtual workshop. The theme would be "Strengthening Sustainable Seed System for the Lower Mekong Countries”. This Activity is a component of the Seed Trade Capacity Building Project in the Lower Mekong Region funded under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership (MUSP), formerly known as Lower Mekong Initiative. Following the successful first Mekong Regional workshop on seeds on 2018, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service is inviting Country Representative from the Seed Offices of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia to attend the Lower Mekong Seed Regional Workshop. During this time Seed Trade Capacity Building in the Lower Mekong Progress Report will be presented by Government official delegations’ representative on each topic (Plant variety protection, seed lab accreditation, seed certification and phyto-sanitary regulation).  Discussion groups will be organized to review on the priority and the type of capacity building training is needed in the region and in its respective country.<

NexGen Program Announcement

Mekong-US Partnership Financial Support for your Mekong Project NexGen Mekong Scientists can provide up to 6-month research assistantships for your Mekong Based project. NexGen empowers Mekong young scientists and early career professionals from the region to responsibly steward the Mekong River Basin and its natural resources. NexGen promotes interdisciplinary approaches to the complex challenges faced…

Happy World Water Day

Happy World Water Day on March 22! More than 70 million people rely on the Mekong River. Climate change threatens the reliability of water supplies, impacting livelihoods and disrupting critical ecosystems. The United States enhances water security by increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation, managing freshwater resources, encouraging shared water cooperation, and strengthening water sector management.

Mekong-U.S. Partnership Track 1.5 Policy Dialogue #1

The Stimson Center and the International Union of Nature (IUCN) will host the first of six Mekong-US Partnership Track 1.5 Policy Dialogues, with the first four-day event beginning March 19 (Asia)/March 18 (U.S.). The opening plenary session will feature keynote remarks from Ambassador Atul Keshap, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and a high-level panel. The opening plenary session is open to the public and press. RSVP to attend opening plenary: March 19, 8:30am ICT (9:30pm EDT).

Release of the Transboundary River Governance Conference Report: February 25

Please join the East-West Center for the release of the Report from the Indo-Pacific Conference on Strengthening Governance of Transboundary Rivers. This webinar will feature discussion with U.S. government officials on the report, which details the findings of the October 2020 Conference that convened partners and stakeholders from across the Indo-Pacific region to share best practices and lessons learned related to the cooperative development and management of transboundary rivers.

“Towards a Resilient and Connected Mekong:” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Atul Keshap’s Remarks at the 2021 Friends of the Mekong Policy Dialogue

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Keshap provided opening remarks at the 2021 Friends of the Mekong Policy Dialogue on January 12, 2021.

Why The Mekong Region Matters to the United States, ASEAN, and the Indo-Pacific

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell published an article titled "Why the Mekong Region Matters to the United States, ASEAN, and the Indo-Pacific" in the Cambodia Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) Journal of Greater Mekong Studies.

United States and Vietnam Convene 17 Friends of the Mekong in Support of a Secure, Prosperous, and Open Mekong Region

On January 12, the United States and Vietnam co-hosted the first Friends of the Mekong Policy Dialogue under the new Mekong-U.S. Partnership. In his remarks, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Atul Keshap emphasized that the United States is committed to a secure, open, and prosperous Mekong region, highlighting the importance of this region to ASEAN centrality and to the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. The 17 participating countries and institutions under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership and the Friends of the Mekong offered recommendations on sustainable infrastructure development and connectivity; human resource development and building the foundations for a Mekong digital economy; sustainable water, natural resource management, and environmental protection; and COVID response and regional collaboration on health security.

Message from our Ambassadors

Now more than ever, the United States sees the importance of a partnership with the Mekong Region. Perhaps the best example of that is the new Mekong-U.S. Partnership, which was launched in 2020 as a successor to the Lower Mekong Initiative. This partnership – with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the ASEAN Secretariat – aims to improve lives in the Mekong Region by spurring economic growth, improving natural resource management, and tackling transnational crime. “We are open to working with all partners who shared our principled, transparent approach,” said Melissa A. Brown, Head of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. Watch this video to learn more:

Webinar: An Uncertain Future: Working Towards a Thriving Tonle Sap

The U.S. Department of State and the Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership are pleased to announce the second Mekong Virtual Symposium. As part of the U.S. Vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, the U.S. government is committed to providing a platform that encourages information sharing, dialogue, collaboration, and stakeholder engagement for cooperative, responsible management of the Mekong River. The U.S. engagement in the Mekong region has long supported transparent, open cooperation for sustainable management of the river. This program will engage key stakeholders on the range of issues facing the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia: fishing and fish migration, plastics, floods and droughts, sediment, and dam impacts. As drought and dams have led the Mekong’s flow reversal to happen later and later each year, the Tonle Sap now faces an uncertain future.