Intervention of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, At the 3rd Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting via Video Conference on 24 August 2020.

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CNV:

  • E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China;
  • E. Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, Co-chairs of the Meeting;
  • Excellencies Leaders of Mekong Countries;
  • Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am pleased that we are able to hold the 3rd Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Leaders’ Meeting via video conference, amidst the global disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, I am of the view that the theme, “Enhancing Partnership for Shared Prosperity”, is very relevant while we need to further enhance our cooperation and reaffirm our resolute determination to address the severe impacts caused by the COVID-19, and other global and regional issues so as to ensure promising recovery of socio-economic development at the post pandemic.

Amidst this challenging time of the current global health threat, the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation framework is one of the utmost important platforms for us to work together in promoting peace, stability, and sustainable development. In fact, the MLC with its core principles has ensured and sustained positive momentum for the development in the region, during both good and tough times. Based on this, please let me highlight several points related to our cooperation as follows:

          1stThe overall progress made in the implementation of the 2nd MLC Leaders’ Meeting and the 4th and 5th MLC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting has yielded positive development outcomes, and has significantly contributed to the promotion of mutual trust and understanding between the MLC countries and the People’s Republic of China.

          2nd. The steady implementation of its Five-Year Action Plan has, in the most concrete manner, deepened the partnership and cooperation among the MLC countries, by way of reinforcing the pillars of peace and security, and promoting harmony and shared prosperity in the sub-region.

          3rdThe breakthrough in finding consensus in dealing with the most sensitive topic of transboundary water management is another critical success in our cooperation. Indeed, the 1st Ministerial Meeting of Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation last December in China, provided clear directions for strengthening and expanding cooperation on hydrological data and information sharing. This tangible outcome has further contributed to the deepening of our mutual understanding in water resources management. In parallel, the recent inclusion of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat as an observer of the MLC Joint Working Group on Water Resources Cooperation, and the MRC’s partnership with the Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Center are other advances worth praising when it comes to the issue of water resources sustainability.

  • Excellency Co-chairs and Excellencies Leaders of Mekong Countries;

On the future development of the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation, I would like to express my high appreciation for visionary works of Excellency Premier Li Keqiang, and support his proposals in four priority areas, namely: (1) connectivity through building the Mekong-Lancang Economic Development Belt and promoting synergy with the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor; (2) water resources cooperation; (3) sustainable development in agriculture and environment; and (4) public health by establishing Mekong-Lancang Public Health Community.

In addition, I would like to share my personal view on the vision for the future development of the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation as follows:

          1stAt a time of global growth de-acceleration, securing new sources of growth in our sub-region is a must. Therefore, we need to speed up the realization of the Mekong-Lancang Economic Development Belt (MLEDB) as a new engine of growth for the Mekong-Lancang sub-region. Boosting investment in quality infrastructure, connectivity and industrial cooperation will stimulate more cross-border trade and further strengthen the integration of our sub-regional supply chains into the global value chains. At the same time, promoting science, technology and innovation cooperation can enhance the long-term competitiveness of our sub-region. In this connection, I would like to support all measures stated in the Co-Chairs’ Statement.

          2nd. It has been five years already since the Sanya Summit and I believe it is timely for us to initiate a comprehensive assessment based on a sound monitoring and evaluation system to ensure the effectiveness of the MLC framework. For example, since the launch of the MLC Special Fund in 2016, Cambodia has received 55 projects covering a broad range of practical cooperation activities, which we believe have produced tangible impacts and contributed significantly to improving the wellbeing of our people.

3rd.  On the COVID-19 pandemic, which is the hottest topic for 2020, we need to show our solidarity and mutual trust in combating this common enemy to make sure that it does not devastate our respective national public health and economy, especially prosperity of our region. In this context, promoting deeper regional integration and an effective multilateralism are two key priorities of our common action. Furthermore, Cambodia highly appreciates China for its efforts in producing vaccines and its commitment to ensure its accessibility and affordability for developing countries.

  • Excellency Co-chairs and Excellencies Leaders of Mekong Countries;

Finally, I would like to thank both co-chairs for their successful organization of this meeting. I take this opportune moment to warmly welcome Myanmar as the next rotating co-chair of the MLC with China. Cambodia is firmly committed to the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation and I look forward to working closely with Myanmar and all MLC member countries in building a Community of Shared Future of Peace and Prosperity.

Thank You!