It is a biannual gathering held in rotation by the cooperation mechanism’s six member states, namely China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The meeting takes place at the time when the Mekong sub-region both looks towards growth opportunities and faces several challenges including environmental damage, water resources, and climate change.

Under the theme “Peaceful river and our sustainable development,” the second MLC Summit will review cooperation among the countries over the last two years, and discuss their cooperation orientations in the time to come.

The first summit opened on March 23, 2016 in China. Its general targets are to foster a comprehensive connection to build a responsible community and common benefit in the Mekong sub-region.

Photo: VNA

Additionally, MLC eyes other targets, such as consolidating mutual trust and understanding for maintaining peace and stability; speeding up sustainable development, poverty reduction; narrow the development gap and boost comprehensive integration into regional and global economies; and strengthen the relationship among the member countries.

MLC is based on the principles of consensus, equality, mutual consultation and coordination, voluntarism, common contribution and shared benefits, and respect for the United Nations Charter and international laws.

All six member states agreed that MLC practical cooperation is carried out through the three pillars, namely political and security issues; economic and sustainable development; and social, cultural and people-to-people exchanges. They attach importance to key priority areas of connectivity, production capacity, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources, agriculture, and poverty reduction.

Up to now, MLC has carried out some activities, such as establishing working groups on water resources, poverty reduction, connection, and production capability promotion; and rolling out several projects under the Early Harvest Projects passed at the first summit.

Since the establishment of MLC, Vietnam has actively joined and made considerable contributions to the cooperation mechanism’s development. The country participated in meetings of the particular working groups, observed the implementation progress of MLC programs, and made recommendations to boost their cooperation.

Ministerial-level meetings and Senior Officials' Meetings, including proposing cooperation related to water resources, economic connection; as well as projects on flood and drought management in the Mekong River basin, and those on harmonization of standards and procedures among the countries.

Notably, at the first summit, Vietnam put forward three projects, which were then added to the list of the mechanism’s Early Harvest Projects for the initial phase of cooperation. The projects aim to strengthen coordination in coping with floods and droughts in the Mekong-Lancang basin, and harmonize standards and procedures among countries in the region.

Participating in the second summit, Vietnam will contribute to further deepen cooperation programs within MLC and raise Vietnam’s image as an active and responsible member in the region and the Mekong sub-region.

We believe that the second MLC Summit will be successful, making contributions to heightening the sustainable development in the Mekong sub-region, consolidating neighboring relations among the member states, supporting each other to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and strengthening the ASEAN-China strategic partnership.

Written by the Editorial Board

Translated by Van Hieu