On June 29, Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kin Moy co-hosted with Cambodia the first annual Mekong-U.S. Partnership Senior Officials’ Meeting. The ASEAN Secretariat joined the meeting as an observer.
Senior Bureau Official Moy emphasized that the United States is committed to a secure, prosperous, and open Mekong sub-region, which is vital to the health of ASEAN and its people. He highlighted the importance of ASEAN centrality to the U.S. vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and U.S. support for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. The United States government has committed $4.3 billion in grant assistance to the Mekong sub-region since 2009.
The six Partnership countries discussed progress on improving COVID-19 response and health security; delivering sustainable infrastructure development, including through the Japan-U.S.-Mekong Power Partnership; empowering human capital and building the foundations for a Mekong digital economy; promoting women’s economic empowerment; advancing sustainable water, natural resource management, and environmental protection; and combating non-traditional security threats, including human, wildlife, timber, narcotics, and weapons trafficking.
Senior Bureau Official Moy urged partners to take immediate action to hold the Burmese military accountable to the ASEAN five-point consensus. He called for joint action to press the Burmese military to end the violence, release those unjustly detained, and restore Burma to the path of democracy.
The Mekong-U.S. Partnership includes the United States, Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. Partners work closely on sustainable development with the Friends of the Mekong group, which in addition to the United States and Mekong countries includes Australia, the European Union, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Mekong River Commission Secretariat.