BANGKOK — The foreign ministers of Japan and five Southeast Asian countries along the Mekong River agreed Saturday to create a framework for cooperation on sustainable development by the time their leaders gather in November.
They shared the view that the framework, to be called the Mekong-Japan Initiative for SDGs toward 2030, should take an approach that is region-wide, open and encourages cooperation between the public and private sectors, according to a co-chairs’ statement released after their meeting in Bangkok.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his counterparts from the Mekong countries — Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam — gathered on the sidelines of a series of annual meetings involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
They also agreed on the importance of “continued efforts of each country to reinforce a free and open order based on the rule of law to maintain peace, stability and prosperity” in the region, the statement said.
At the meeting, Japan was named one of the partners in the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, an initiative aimed at bridging the economic gap between the Mekong countries.
Other partners that will assist with development projects in areas such as energy include the United States, Australia and India.