The following is the outcomes of the Friends of the Mekong Ministerial Meeting released this evening by Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation:

“On 5 August 2021, H.E. PRAK Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia, attended the Friends of the Mekong Ministerial Meeting (FoM)via video conference, which was chaired by H.E. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States of America, and also attended virtually by other Foreign Ministers of the Mekong countries and representatives of the Friends of the Mekong. Heads of Delegation from the ASEAN Secretariat, the United Kingdom and India participated in the meeting as observers.

The FoM was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Friends of the Mekong, welcome the membership of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat, and reaffirm the importance of Friends’ engagement and cooperation in addressing the transboundary challenges, supporting resilience and inclusive growth in the post-COVID-19 era, and enhancing sustainable development in the Mekong sub-region. So far, Friends of Mekong members have provided their support to the sub-region in a number of priority areas, including but are not limited to, socio-economic development, health, climate, environment, water energy, food security, natural resources management, sustainable infrastructure, digital transformation and human development, all of which focus on advancing a green and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.

Heads of Delegation of the Friends of the Mekong agreed to increase cooperation among members, as well as in other regional Mekong mechanisms to strengthen recovery, resilience, and development across the Mekong region, and reiterated their shared commitment to achieve the goals set forth in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to fully implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

H.E. Deputy Prime Minister also took this opportunity to share that Cambodia attaches great significance to this FoM cooperation as it serves as a unique platform for Mekong countries and Friends to drive forward practical development efforts based on shared principles and values. Understanding the importance of the sub-region’s younger labor forcein the post-COVID-19 era, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister welcomed the contribution of all Friends of the Mekong in human resource development, particularly in specialized technical capacity-building programs.

H.E. Deputy Prime Minister thanked the U.S. for its donation of vaccines through the COVAX facility to the countries in the sub-region, including 1 million doses to Cambodia. This clearly reflects the strong commitment of the U.S. to both public health and to maintaining and promoting the well-being of the people in the sub-region. However, with new waves of more contagious variants, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister stressed that we should work together to ensure reliable and affordable vaccines and medical equipment and supplies remain accessible.

The meeting ended with the adoption of a Joint Press Statement.

 

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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