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Vietnam attends first Friends of the Mekong Ministerial Meeting

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son attended the first Friends of the Mekong (FOM) Ministerial Meeting, which was held on August 5 via videoconference.

Addressing the meeting, Minister Son affirmed Vietnam’s commitment to working with other members to build an environment of peace, stability, prosperity and sustainable development in the region.

FOM cooperation needs to originate from development demands of Mekong countries, and helps promote regional cooperation, strengthen the integration of collaboration mechanisms to mobilise all resources for sustainable development and addressing challenges effectively, he stated.

The Vietnamese official suggested FOM prioritize cooperation in COVID-19 prevention and control, building high-quality infrastructure, green growth, and step up policy dialogue on sustainable development in the Mekong sub-region.

The meeting agreed that FOM should intensify cooperation in addressing common challenges and promoting sustainable and inclusive growth, including supporting socio-economic development and promoting green growth during and after the pandemic, ensuring food, water source and energy security, building high-quality infrastructure, and backing the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SGD) and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Participants agreed that FOM has made positive contributions to consolidating friendship between member countries, assisting Mekong countries in responding to the pandemic and promoting sustainable development and prosperity of the region.

FOM cooperation should continue to promote the common values and principles in the UN Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), uphold the central role of ASEAN as well as principles of equality, consensus and mutual benefit, and respect for international law, so as to help connect FOM cooperation with ASEAN and existing Mekong cooperation frameworks.

The meeting was chaired by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, with the participation of Foreign Ministers and representatives of Cambodia, the Republic of Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Vietnam, together with the ASEAN Secretary-General and representatives from the European Union, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Mekong River Commission (MRC). India and the United Kingdom attended the event as invited guests./.