Message from the Ambassadors’ Offices

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.

Mekong Virtual Symposium: “An Uncertain Future: Working Towards a Thriving Tonle Sap”

Pact Thailand is organizing the second Mekong Virtual Symposium: An Uncertain Future: Working Towards a Thriving Tonle Sap as part of the Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership (SIP). This event is open to the public, and interested participants are encouraged to RSVP on https://www.mekongwater.org/mekong-virtual-symposium.

Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace hosts Virtual Conference on Sustainable Development and the Future of the Mekong

The Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) organized a virtual conference on "Sustainable Development and the Future of the Mekong" on 26-27 October 2020. Organized in response to the shifting geopolitical dynamics that pose new challenges such as the growth of debt dependency, disproportionate control of upstream dams, and the erosion of existing river governance, the conference featured four panels examining the future of the Mekong River and the environmental and sustainable development challenges confronting the region.

Recap: Indo-Pacific Conference on Strengthening Transboundary Rivers Governance

Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell provided opening remarks at the inaugural Indo-Pacific Conference on Strengthening Governance of Transboundary Rivers on October 15. U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Michael DeSombre offered closing remarks. The conference, organized in partnership with the East-West Center, convened policy-makers, academics, members of civil society, and other transboundary river stakeholders from across the Indo-Pacific region to share best practices related to the sustainable development and cooperative management of transboundary rivers.

Indo-Pacific Conference on Strengthening Transboundary Rivers Governance

The United States Department of State, in partnership with the East-West Center, will host a virtual Indo-Pacific Conference on Strengthening Transboundary Rivers Governance on October 15-16. The invitation-only conference brings together practitioners, experts, and national and civil society representatives to focus on Enhancing Transparency, Partnerships & Stakeholder Engagement. This event includes sessions on "Transparency and Partnerships in Transboundary River Governance," "Negotiating Transboundary River Governance," "Stakeholder Engagement in Transboundary River Governance," and "Next Steps for Strengthening Governance of Transboundary Rivers." Assistant Secretary David Stilwell and U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Michael DeSombre will give opening and closing remarks, respectively.

Mekong-U.S. Partnership at a glance

The Mekong-U.S. Partnership expands cooperation between the United States and the countries of the Mekong region.

Mekong-U.S. Partnership Joint Statement

The United States and Mekong Partner countries released a Joint Statement on the launch of the Mekong-U.S. Partnership.

U.S.-Singapore Third Country Training Program (TCTP)

Established in 2012, TCTP is a series of capacity building courses for the Lower Mekong region, implemented in coordination with the Government of Singapore. As of 2018, 47 five-day workshops have trained over 1,200 government officials. The courses train participants on topics pertaining to connectivity, sustainable development, and regional resilience. A December 2018 training on…

LMI Young Scientist Program

Implemented by Arizona State University’s School of Engineering 2018-2020, the program supports 35 young scientists per year from the LMI countries to foster and promote scientific collaboration, knowledge sharing on science and technology best practices, and research ideas. Participants develop cross-border research groups to respond to immediate challenges and develop prototypes and action plans to address issues where they want to make a difference. In 2019, the young scientists are working on informatics solutions to vector borne disease risks – prompted by the outcomes of the 2018 LMI Information Sharing Program on vector-borne diseases. The 2020 theme is innovation.

Strengthening the U.S.-Mekong Partnership

The Mekong Matters to America The Mekong region – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam – is strategically important to the United States. The region is a focus of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy, and integral to our engagement with ASEAN. The United States aims to uphold sovereignty, transparency, good governance, ASEAN centrality, and a…

Opening Remarks at the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, Foreign Minister. I want to thank you, Thailand, for hosting this special ministerial marking a decade of the Lower Mekong Initiative. The United States has been a proud partner for those whole 10 years, and thanks to our work: 340,000 people have access to improved drinking water; 3,800 officials, teachers, and…