Countries & Regions
Third Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM) Ministerial Meeting
July 1, 2013
On July 1, the Third Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM) Ministerial Meeting was held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam from 7:00 p.m. for approximately one hour. From Japan, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended the meeting. An overview of the meeting is as follows. After the meeting, a Joint Ministerial Statement was issued (In attendance were: Mr. John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States, and Mr. Greg Beck, Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (co-chairs) from the United States, in addition to foreign ministers and representatives from the Mekong region countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam), Australia, the European Union (EU), New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, and the ASEAN Secretariat).
- At the beginning of the meeting, Secretary Kerry, the chair of the meeting, explained the experience of the United States with development issues so far and his own experiences of life in the Mekong region during his youth. He stated that the participating countries and international organizations of the FLM should continue to closely cooperate with the Mekong region countries, and that the regional initiatives, such as those of the Mekong region countries and Mekong River Commission (MRC) in the field of environment and the Mekong River water resource management, should be supported in particular. In addition, he also expressed support for coordination efforts through information sharing among donor countries in order to avoid redundant initiatives and facilitate cooperation.
- In response, the representatives of each donor country and international organization commended the initiative taken by the United States, and expressed recognition of the importance of close coordination among donor countries and the Mekong region countries on issues such as the sustainable management and development of water resource. Each representative also explained their ongoing initiatives in the Mekong region.
- Minister Kishida explained that Japan and the Mekong region countries have steadily developed cooperation based on the “Tokyo Strategy 2012 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation" and the "Mekong-Japan Action Plan for realization of the Tokyo Strategy", which articulate the cooperation policy until 2015 and focus on the three pillars adopted at the Fourth Mekong-Japan Summit in April 2012: (1) enhancing Mekong connectivity; (2)developing together; and (3)ensuring human security and environmental sustainability. He also conveyed Japan’s intention to continue its active contributions to the activities of MRC, noting that the cooperation in the field of environment, pointed out by the United States, was one of the pillars of Japan-Mekong cooperation.