U Win Myint, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar participated in the Video Conference of the 3rd Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting at 8:00 am yesterday from the President Office in Nay Pyi Taw.
The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of Lao PDR and Mr Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand and Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam also participated in the meeting.
A short video clip on the progress of the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) was shown at the opening. During the meeting, the leaders reviewed the work and progress made under the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation, and cordially exchanged views on the future development of cooperation framework.
In his statement, President U Win Myint expressed his condolences and sympathies for the loss of lives and hardships caused by the COVID-19 throughout the world, and congratulated the governments of China and the Mekong-Lancang countries for their able management to bring the pandemic under control.
He also expressed his gratitude to the People’s Republic of China for the generous assistance rendered to Myanmar in its fight against the COVID-19.
The President stated that Mekong-Lancang Cooperation has contributed to the socio-economic development of the peoples of Mekong region, narrowing development gaps and complements to ASEAN Community building and implementation of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2030. He also stressed the importance of MLC’s collective strength in promotion of peace and prosperity in the region and in addressing non-traditional security challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, illicit drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism and trafficking of firearms and ammunition.
Furthermore, he welcomed the timely expansion of new cooperation areas, in particular health sector, in order to cope with current and future global challenges. The President added that MLC needs to enhance cooperation in research and development of vaccine, for the COVID-19, and formulation of a mechanism to provide equitable assess without discrimination. Enhancement of regional connectivity and economic integration in facilitation of a smooth flow of trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people contact were some of the points he stressed in his statement for the consideration of MLC’s future work plan.
The President thanked the Government of China for its generous contribution to the MLC Special Fund which enables the implementation of the projects by the Mekong countries in synergy with respective national sustainable development strategies.
The Meeting adopted the “Vientiane Declaration” which will serve as a policy guideline for future work plan and the “Co-chairs’ Statement on Cooperation of Synergizing the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor of the Third Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Leaders’ Meeting”.
According to the “Vientiane Declaration”, the MLC’s future course of action will attach priority to the post COVID-19 economic recovery, enhancing regional connectivity, facilitating sustainable development, enhancing cooperation on Public Health and addressing non-traditional security challenges.
After the session, a brief ceremony of handing over of Co-chairmanship to Myanmar from Lao PDR was held and President U Win Myint took over the Co-chairmanship of the MLC from the Prime Minister of Lao PDR and delivered an acceptance speech as incoming Co-chair. Myanmar will serve as Co-chair of Mekong-Lancang Cooperation together with the permanent Co-chair, China for a tenure of two years.
Officially established in 2016, the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation is composed of Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam with the aim to assist regional efforts to achieve sustainable inclusive development and narrowing development gaps in the region, while promoting peace and prosperity. The MLC Special Fund has provided funds for implementation of (51) projects in Myanmar to date in support of the National Sustainable Development Strategy of Myanmar with a total value of US$16.3 million.
Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin, Permanent Secretaries of the President Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Senior Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present at the meeting.—MNA