U.S. Embassy Helps Build Capacity of Professionals Working in Lower Mekong Region

A country delegation and U.S. officials at the LMI Alumni Conference in Hanoi.
A country delegation and U.S. officials at the LMI Alumni Conference in Hanoi.

For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 29, 2012
(84-4) 3935-1260

HANOI, November 29, 2012 -- The U.S. Embassy Hanoi, and Green Innovation and Development Center (GreenID) organized a conference for thirty one participants of U.S. Government sponsored exchange programs under the theme: "Cooperation for a Sustainable Future" from November 29 to December 1, 2012. Participants are government officials, NGO leaders and researchers from Lower Mekong region countries, including: Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma and Vietnam.

During the three-day program, participants will network and learn about scenario planning, strategic planning and share best practices in climate change adaptation and mitigation. The goal of this conference is to raise public awareness of Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) cooperative programs, to build capacity of those involved and to promote open and honest discussions among countries of the Lower Mekong region in order to find solutions for sustainable development of each country and the whole region.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on November 29, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Claire Pierangelo said, "Our leaders meet regularly to discuss about strategic plans for the LMI region. However, in order to realize these dreams, Lower Mekong countries need strong leaders and capable human resources at every level and in every field. I also believe we need to build stronger people-to-people relations to develop sustainable cooperation." Also speaking at the conference, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Director Joakim Parker emphasized the importance of cooperation among Lowering Mekong countries and shared USAID's plan to support Lower Mekong countries.

On November 30, 2012, a sideline exhibition titled "Bridging Knowledge around the Lower Mekong region" will be open to the public at the InterContinental Hotel in Hanoi from 8:00 am-12:00 pm. The exhibition showcases 31 posters about best practices and cooperative projects happening around the Lower Mekong region. Visitors to the exhibition will have a chance to learn about approaches to multinational cooperation and to win numerous prizes for answering quizzes about Lower Mekong countries and environment.

The Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) was created in response to the July 23, 2009 meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Foreign Ministers of the Lower Mekong Countries -- Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam -- in Phuket, Thailand. At this first-ever U.S.-Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting, the Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation in the areas of environment, health, education and infrastructure development. The LMI underlines the importance of the Lower Mekong region to the United States and American commitment to advancing peace and prosperity in the ASEAN region as a whole. Burma formally joined the initiative in July 2012.

Looking forward, the United States has committed substantial resources to LMI over the next three years through the Asia Pacific Strategic Engagement Initiative (APSEI), which has allowed LMI members to support regional efforts towards political and economic integration and narrowing the development gap in ASEAN over the long term.

More information: http://lowermekong.org/About