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Vietnam leader calls for stronger ties at Mekong-Japan, ASEAN-UN summits

Manila, November 14 (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc led a Vietnamese delegation to the 9th Mekong-Japan Summit and the 9th ASEAN-UN Summit that took place in Manila, the Philippines, on November 13. 

The 9th Mekong-Japan Summit drew leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan. 

They recognised achievements in the realisation of the Tokyo Strategy 2015, including the implementation of the Mekong-Japan Action Plan for Realisation of the Tokyo Strategy 2015, the Japan-Mekong Connectivity Initiative, and the Mekong Industrial Development Vision. 

The Mekong countries appreciated Japan’s assistance for the Greater Mekong Sub-region’s cooperation. They also lauded Japan’s commitment to implementing the partnership for sustainable infrastructure and the initiative for industrial human resources development cooperation. 

The leaders agreed to continue enhancing economic and industrial cooperation between Japan and the Mekong countries and increasing coordination between Mekong-Japan cooperation with regional and international organisations such as the Asian Development Bank, the ASEAN-Japan Centre, and the Mekong River Commission. 

Japan will support Mekong countries to achieve green growth and carry out flood and drought response projects. The two sides also reiterated the importance of managing and sustainably using the Mekong River’s water resources and protecting the river’s environment. 

At the summit, the leaders also discussed international and regional issues of shared concern. They stressed the need to enhance the Mekong nations’ law enforcement with the help of Japan, including through improving the capacity of enforcing law at sea and fighting terrorism, and boosting cultural and people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the Mekong countries. 

PM Phuc said Mekong-Japan cooperation has proved increasingly effective, affirming its role in the region and bringing about benefits for people. He also acknowledged Japan’s assistance for the Mekong region in general and Vietnam in particular. 

In the future, bilateral cooperation should focus on helping Mekong countries develop advanced industry and agriculture, improve human resources quality and research and development capacity, build high-quality infrastructure, and step up regional connectivity, including through transnational roads and the logistics system. 

Japan should also help its Mekong partners gear their development towards green, clean and sustainable models, protect the Mekong River’s environment, and sustainably use the river’s water. 

At the end of the summit, the leaders issued a joint statement and agreed to organise the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit in Japan. 

At the 9th ASEAN-UN Summit, leaders of the 10 ASEAN nations and the UN valued the outcomes of bilateral cooperation, particularly in carrying out the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership for 2016-2020, promoting common efforts to develop infrastructure in the region, promoting public-private partnership capacity, developing micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and boosting ASEAN’s resilience in coping with climate change and natural disasters. 

The summit agreed to continue fostering the implementation of the ASEAN-UN plan of action for 2016-2020 and combining the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 with priority given to peacekeeping, fighting trans-national crime, realising the Sustainable Development Goals, dealing with climate change, protecting the environment, and reducing poverty. 

The leaders welcomed the UN General Assembly’s resolution commemorating ASEAN’s 50th founding anniversary, the UN’s first resolution marking the anniversary of a regional organisation. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pledged to intensify ASEAN-UN ties through assisting the bloc to realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the goals of the 2030 Agenda. 

In his speech, PM Phuc hailed the UN General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution commemorating ASEAN’s anniversary. He asked both sides increase consultation to promote ASEAN-UN cooperation programmes on sustainable development and social welfare improvement. They also need to support each other in coping with regional and global challenges such as climate change and natural disasters and promoting multilateralism and international law.