Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Quang Sơn gave an interview to Vietnam News Agency on the results of the recently concluded third meeting of the six Mekong-Langcang countries in Hà Nội on how to minimise the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
What were the major achievements of the Mekong-Langcang Co-operation Leaders’ recent online meeting?
The conference was an occasion for the six Mekong-Lancang member countries to review their mid-term co-operation in the five-year period from 2018 to 2022.
The meeting was held in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic which has seriously affected worldwide economic development, particularly the Mekong-Lancang member countries. The meeting was an occasion for the leaders from the six Mekong-Langcang members to discuss major issues or problems in the region and come up with measures to solve their common challenges.
After their discussions, particularly the implementation of the Mekong-Langcang co-operation in the five-year plan (2018-2022), the participants all expressed their appreciation for the implementation of the three major columns; i.e. the co-operation in the fields of politics; economics; and culture exchanges among the member countries. All the members have co-operated closely and shared their experiences in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants at the meeting spent quite a lot of time to review the implementation of the co-operation plan in the last two years, particularly the implementation of more than 300 technical co-operation projects in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, agriculture and water resources management.
During the meeting, all the participants agreed to tighten their co-operation in the three main fields, such as politics, economics – sustainable development and culture and society. They also agreed to tighten their co-operation in the health care field to respond to the pandemic.
All the Mekong member countries have highly appreciated China for continuing importing agro-products from the countries sharing the Mekong River and China’s proposal to create a special fund for the Mekong-Langcang Co-operation in their current fight against COVID-19 and other future health issues.
Participants at the meeting also discussed their co-operation in the management of the Mekong water resources and sustainable usage of the resources from 2019 to 2020.
They also agreed to tighten their co-operation in all activities on climate change, safety for hydraulic dams, household water safety, flood control and drought for the benefits of all countries sharing the Mekong River.
What initiatives did Việt Nam propose at the conference?
Việt Nam has done its best to show the participants that it is a reliable partner in the international community. Việt Nam has been a reliable member country in the Mekong-Lancang co-operation since its establishment.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and other senior leaders from other countries discussed issues that will have serious impacts on the sustainable development of the region and measures to overcome them.
In his address, Prime Minister Phúc made a three-point proposal on the future co-operation among the six countries along the Mekong River, namely Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Việt Nam, as follows:
All member countries should co-ordinate closely to limit the negative impacts of the COVID-19
Sharing information and experiences in the fight against COVID-19 meeting the principle of transparency and accountability, and particularly co-operating in the production of a vaccine against COVID-19
Co-operation and sustainable use of water from the Mekong River from the upper reach in China to the lower basin in Việt Nam to avoid negative impacts from flood and drought in the first six months of 2020. VNS