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Second US-Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting Addresses Climate Cooperation

22 July 2010: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Foreign Ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam met in Hanoi, Viet Nam, on 22 July 2010, within the framework of the Lower Mekong Initiative, to address cooperation between the US and the Lower Mekong countries in areas of common concern, including climate change.

The US announced it is spending over $22 million in 2010 on environmental programmes in the Mekong Region, including a three-year programme to assist the four Lower Mekong countries in developing cooperative strategies to address the impact of climate change on water resources, food security and livelihood; and the continued development of “Forecast Mekong,” a predictive modeling tool to illustrate the impact of climate change and other challenges to the sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin.

The Ministers witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for a “sister river” partnership between the Mekong River Commission and the Mississippi River Commission, which will allow the Commissions to conduct expert exchanges, share expertise and best practices in areas of climate change adaptation, flood and drought management, hydropower impact assessments, water resource management and food security. The Ministers agreed to convene the third US-Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting in 2011. [US State Department Press Release] [Joint Statement]