5 Jul 2021
H.E. Mrs. Arunrung Phothong Humphreys, Ambassador for the Mekong Cooperation, attended the Mekong - U.S. Partnership (MUSP) Senior Officials’ Meeting via teleconference, where she advocated cooperation on the COVID-19 response and recovery, health and vaccine, environment and development of quality infrastructure as well as the new MUSP Plan of Action.
On 30 June 2021, H.E. Mrs. Arunrung Phothong Humphreys, Ambassador for the Mekong Cooperation, represented Thailand at the Mekong - U.S. Partnership (MUSP) Senior Officials’ Meeting co-chaired by the U.S. and Cambodia. This was the first Senior Officials’ Meeting after Member States, namely Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam and the U.S., agreed to elevate the cooperation framework from Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) to MUSP in 2020.
The Senior Officials exchanged views in a frank and constructive manner. They discussed preparation for the MUSP Ministerial Meeting which is scheduled to take place in early August 2021, including the draft Plan of Action 2021 - 2023 to be adopted at the Ministerial Meeting.
The Meeting also discussed ways to deepen cooperation under the MUSP framework with a view to responding to the COVID-19 situation as well as for preparedness of the Mekong sub-region to meet challenges posed by future pandemics. The
Senior Officials concurred that MUSP should advance cooperation on public health, vaccine production and procurement and access to vaccines, and capacity building for epidemiologists. For the post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts, they agreed to enhance cooperation on quality infrastructure development, digital transformation and support for businesses, especially MSMEs and start-ups, for resilient and integrated value chains. In this connection, Thailand encouraged MUSP Member States to apply the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy model for sustainable recovery. Other areas discussed include natural resources and water management, climate change and human resource development through academic exchanges, scholarships, and youth development and participation in the development of the Mekong sub-region.