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.

Mekong Regional Seed Program Resumes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in partnership with American Seed Trade and Asia and Pacific Seed Associations, held the Lower Mekong Regional Seed Workshop, June 8-10, 2021. The “Strengthening Sustainable Seed System for the Lower Mekong Countries” workshop was conducted by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) with technical expertise from USDA Agriculture Marketing Service. Over 70 high-ranking country representatives from the Public Seed Offices of, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia along with senior representatives from international seed organizations including OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), ISTA (International Seed Testing Association), and UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) participated. Key representatives provided updates on progress and challenges in seed trade in their countries focusing on capacities, and rules-and science-based policy environments with aim to foster cooperation and harmonization of seed policies among Lower Mekong Countries (LMCs), consistent with practices and approaches in the United States.

“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…

Mekong-US Partnership Track 1.5 Policy Dialogues

The Partnership Policy Dialogues are a series of six multi-day conferences that will take place from 2021 – 2023 to explore solutions to key policy and sustainability challenges facing the Lower Mekong. The conferences will explore themes that include connectivity, energy and infrastructure, non-traditional security, transboundary water governance, and nature-based solutions. Tying the conference experiences together are cross-cutting values of inclusivity, resilience (including climate), and collaboration.

Strengthening Transboundary River Governance Report

The East-West Center, with support from the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, released the report from the Indo-Pacific Conference on Strengthening Governance of Transboundary Rivers on February 25.

United States Hosts Vietnam Webinar Series Towards Modernizing Vietnam’s Power Sector

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Energy Resources’ (ENR) Power Sector Program (PSP), in partnership with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), provided three webinars to the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV). These webinars focused on enhancing ERAV’s regulatory capacity to oversee power market reforms and grid modernization to advance the goals of the Japan-U.S.-Mekong Power Partnership (JUMPP), Mekong-U.S. Partnership (MUSP), and the Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy Initiative (Asia EDGE).

“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: