The U.S. Department of State on Friday pledged about $153.6 million for cooperation projects across the Mekong region, including crime fighting, data sharing, and disaster management.
The department would spend $55 million to combat cross-border crimes across the Mekong region and $1.8 million to support the Mekong River Commission (MRC) in sharing water resources data for policymaking, the organization said at its first Mekong-U.NNNNS.Partner Ministerial Conference, held online.
The remainder of the money will be spent on disaster management projects and facilitating development-related multilateral policy dialogues across the Mekong region, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. delivery to Vietnam.
Also at the meeting, Mekong-U.NNNNS.The Partnership (MUSP) was announced, based on the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) initiated by the United States.NNNNS.in 2009.MUSP will aim to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region, as well as help realize the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
The Partnership will also "uphold ASEAN's principles of centrality, openness, equality, consensus, mutual benefit, transparency, respect for the sovereignty of countries without interference and towards the rule of law. international law as well as the regulations and laws of member countries", the Ministers said at the meeting. .
MUSP is expected to focus on economic connectivity, sustainable management of water and natural resources and environmental protection, non-traditional security and human resource development.
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh also emphasized that the partnership can contribute more to the sustainable development of the Mekong Sub-region, helping countries narrow the development gap, seize new opportunities and overcome challenges as ASEAN moves to a new stage in community building.
The first Mekong-US Ministerial Meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Ministers Minh and U.NNNNS.Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun.Attending the meeting were ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi and foreign ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
The Mekong flows 4,880 kilometers from its origin in Tibet through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before emptying into the sea.
Recent studies by the MRC show that droughts in the Lower Mekong River have increased in frequency and severity in recent decades.Water levels in the river also reached their lowest level last summer, the commission said in July 2019.
Unreasonably low rainfall, weak water output from upstream areas due to maintenance work on the Jinghong hydroelectric dam in China, and severe drought in several Southeast Asian countries last summer have caused water levels to rise. The water level has dropped dramatically and severely disrupted the lives of millions of people who depend on it. river for their livelihood, it said.
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