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한-메콩 외교장관회의 “‘한-메콩 교류의 해’ 내년까지 연장”

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제11차 한-메콩 외교장관회의 공동의장성명...쁘락 소콘 캄보디아 부총리 방한

 

정의용 외교부 장관과 ‘쁘락 소콘(Prak Sokhonn)’ 캄보디아 부총리 겸 외교장관이 대면으로 공동 주재하고 여타 메콩 국가는 화상으로 참석한 제11차 한-메콩 외교장관회의의 결과를 정리한 공동의장성명이 발표되었다.

 

메콩 5개국은 라오스, 미얀마, 베트남, 캄보디아, 태국으로 공동의장국인 캄보디아 외교장관은 9.6.(월)-9.8.(수) 간 한국을 공식방문했다.

 

공동의장성명은 ▵7대 우선협력 분야(문화관광, 인적자원개발, 농촌개발, 인프라, ICT, 환경, 비전통안보)를 중심으로 한-메콩 협력 성과와 현황 점검 ▵미래협력 방향 ▵주요 지역 및 글로벌 정세(한반도, 남중국해, 미얀마) 논의 결과 반영했다.

 

특히, 코로나19 대응을 위한 보건협력 강화 및 경제회복 달성을 위한 메콩 국가들의 협력 의지를 강조하고 이를 위한 다자주의의 중요성 강조했다.

 

백신 접근성 제고 및 사회·경제적 회복 가속화를 위한 협력 지속과 ▵한국 정부가 코백스 선구매공약메커니즘[COVAX]에 향후 2년간 2억불을 추가 공여키로 약속한 데 대한 평가 등 포함했다.

 

아울러 ▵메콩지역의 기후변화대응 및 수자원관리 역량강화 ▵메콩 지역 인프라 향상을 통한 역내 연계성 강화 ▵인적교류 회복 ▵여타 지역협력체와의 시너지 창출 등의 중요성을 확인하고 관련 협력 지속 의지 표명했다.

 

올해 한-메콩 협력 10주년을 기념하는 ‘2021 한-메콩 교류의 해’를 2022년까지 연장 합의했다.

 

한-메콩 외교장관회의에서는 한-메콩 협력기금을 활용한 제5차 한-메콩 협력사업으로 7개 사업*을 최종 확정하였으며, 각 국 장관들은 의장성명을 통해 이를 공식 승인하였다.

 

■ 제5차 한-메콩 협력사업 (7개)

 

▵캄보디아:도로정비 역량강화 사업 ▵ 라오스: 북부 라오스 내 지속가능한 산림 경영 지원 사업 ▵미얀마:몬 주(州) 농촌 개발에 대한 이주의 영향 연구 사업 ▵태국:메콩 지역 내 소규모 수자원 관리 강화 사업 ▵베트남: 메콩 리더십 프로그램 및 역량강화 사업 ▵한국: 농촌 의료‧교육시설 대상 빗물 식수화 시설 보급 사업 ▵메콩연구소: 메콩 국가 내 지속가능하고 스마트한 농산물 공급망 개발 사업 확정

 

한편, 이번 회의를 통해 대화·외교를 통한 한반도의 완전한 비핵화와 항구적 평화정착 달성과 한반도의 평화·안정의 지속을 위한 우리 정부와 메콩 국가들의 지속적인 노력에 대한 지지도 재확인한바, 이러한 내용도 의장성명에 반영(19항)되었다.

 

미얀마 정세와 관련하여서는 미얀마 내 평화·안정 및 민주주의를 위한 아세안의 노력에 대한 우리 정부의 지지를 재차 표명하고, 우리 정부의 대(對) 미얀마 추가 인도적 지원 결정에 대해 평가하는 내용이 포함(21항)되었다.

 

 

Co-Chairs’ Statement of the

Eleventh Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

On September 8, 2021

 

1. Eleventh Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and the Republic of Korea was held on September 8, 2021 via videoconference, and co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Chung Eui-yong, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK), and H.E. Mr. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

 

2. Meeting expressed its deep concerns over the unprecedented global public health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching socio-economic impacts on the livelihoods of people in the Mekong region. The Meeting welcomed the encouraging progress made in the six member countries in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and reaffirmed its continued commitment to fostering cooperation at the bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels to address the challenges and facilitate socio-economic recovery and sustainable development in the Mekong region.

 

2.1. The Meeting noted the importance of strengthening international and regional cooperation to mitigate the adverse impacts of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, which caused severe public health crisis and led to the disruption of the global socio-economic development. The Meeting appreciated and encouraged the continued commitment and concerted efforts of the international community to contain the COVID-19, ensure safe, effective, accessible and affordable COVID-19 vaccine procurement, technology transfer, production, and distribution, and accelerate socio-economic recovery.

 

2.2. The Meeting expressed gratitude for the ROK’s contributions to effectively respond and combat the COVID-19 pandemic together with Mekong countries, including the material and financial support to the Mekong region; and provision of medical equipment and supplies and its support for capacity building of health professionals as part of its COVID-19 Comprehensive Rapid Response Program to strengthen the health systems of Mekong countries. The Meeting also expressed its appreciation for the ROK’s pledge to contribute 200 million USD in the form of financial and in-kind contributions to COVAX by 2022. The Meeting reaffirmed its commitment to working together to overcome the unprecedented threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

2.3 The Meeting welcomed the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution A/RES/75/27 dated 7 December 2020 on International Day of Epidemic Preparedness which highlight the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics.

 

3. Meeting highly appreciated the meaningful progress made in the Mekong-ROK cooperation in the year 2020 despite the global spread of COVID-19. The Meeting noted with great satisfaction the elevation of the Mekong-ROK cooperation to a Strategic Partnership for People, Prosperity and Peace on the occasion of the 2nd Mekong-ROK Summit held on November 13, 2020.

 

4. Meeting reaffirmed the steadfast commitment to enhancing the Mekong-ROK cooperation on the three pillars of Peace, Prosperity, and People of the Mekong-ROK Strategic Partnership and the New Southern Policy Plus (NSPP) announced by President Moon Jae-in on the occasion of the ASEAN-ROK Summit on November 12, 2020.

 

4.1 Meeting underlined the crucial role of the Mekong-ROK partnership in complementing the efforts of narrowing the development gap within ASEAN and facilitating the comprehensive integration of ASEAN, as stated in the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan IV (2021-2025) and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

 

4.2 Meeting commended Cambodia’s leadership in serving as the Mekong-ROK co-chair of the year 2021, and expressed their support for this year’s theme ‘We care, We Prepare, We Prosper’ of ASEAN under Brunei Darussalam’s chairmanship.

 

4.3 Noting that the year 2021 is the “Mekong-ROK Exchange Year 2021” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Mekong-ROK Cooperation, the Meeting reiterated the pivotal role of people-to-people exchanges in further strengthening the Mekong-ROK cooperation. The Meeting agreed to extend “the Mekong-ROK Exchange Year” to 2022 to foster cultural exchanges and deepen mutual understanding by holding various events among the six countries pending the endorsement at the 3rd Mekong-ROK Summit.

 

(Review of the Mekong-ROK Cooperation)

 

5. The Meeting acknowledged that the progress of the Mekong-ROK partnership played out by constructive dialogues under the frameworks of the Mekong-ROK cooperation mechanism, including Mekong-ROK Senior Officials’ Meetings, Foreign Ministers’ Meetings, and Summits. The Meeting also stressed that this full-fledged cooperation mechanism will further strengthen the Mekong-ROK partnership.

 

6. The Meeting recognized the importance of the Plan of Action 2021-2025 adopted at the Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 as a solid map providing more comprehensive and integrated approaches for the cooperation framework building on the outcomes of the two sets of previous Plans of Action. Meeting also reiterated its firm commitment to fully implementing the Mekong-ROK Plan of Action 2021-2025 and will submit its progress report to the annual Mekong-ROK Summit.

 

7. The Meeting underscored its continued commitment to strengthening Mekong-ROK Cooperation based on the three pillars of People, Prosperity and Peace and the seven priority areas in the Mekong-Han River Declaration—(i) Culture and Tourism, (ii) Human Resources Development, (iii) Agriculture and Rural Development, (iv) Infrastructure, (v) Information and Communication Technology (ICT), (vi) Environment, and (vii) Non-traditional Security Challenges.

 

7.1 Culture and Tourism  The Meeting recognized that the Mekong-ROK cooperation is aiming at people-centered and people-oriented development that ensures economic, financial and social inclusiveness. The Meeting took note with satisfaction of its solid cooperation in the fields of preservation and restoration of cultural heritage. The Meeting also reaffirmed the importance of enhancing cooperation in the field of cultural creative industries including art management, designing, film, capacity building and mutual understanding through cultural exchanges, and promoting people-to-people exchanges through sustainable and smart development of tourism between Mekong countries and the ROK on the occasion of the Mekong-ROK Exchange Year 2021.

 

7.2 Human Resources Development The Meeting underlined the value of human resources development in building skilled labor force and achieving co-prosperity in the region and noted with satisfaction the close Mekong-ROK collaboration for the sharing of knowledge and experiences as well as a variety of capacity-building projects in higher education and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

 

7.3 Agriculture and Rural Development Commending the ROK's commitment to facilitate sustainable development and to narrow the development gap in the Mekong region, the Meeting reaffirmed that stronger cooperation in agriculture and rural development, especially in climate-smart agriculture and aquaculture will enhance the productivity of rural communities and improve the resilience of rural households against climate change and climate-related risks. The Meeting recognized the importance of practical cooperation on erosion of river bank issue for the safety and well-being of rural community.

 

7.4 Infrastructure Underlining the importance of promoting regional connectivity, as highlighted in the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, the Meeting welcomed the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Mekong countries and the ROK in promoting regional trade and investment, including investment cooperation in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) of Thailand; the establishment of the Korea Desk in Myanmar; the construction of the Cambodia-Korea Friendship Bridge; the Inland Waterway Transport project in the Lao PDR; the establishment of Viet Nam Technology Advice and Solutions from Korea Center (VITASK Center); and various smart city projects in Mekong countries, and thereby achieving stronger regional connectivity. The Meeting also renewed its commitment to promote sustainable infrastructure development in the Mekong sub-region through facilitating more access to financing for the sustainable infrastructure trends and priorities in the post-pandemic era.

 

7.5 Information and Communication Technology Bearing in mind the vital role of and Communications Technology (ICT) in facilitating innovation and improving preparedness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Meeting renewed its commitment to further facilitating the wider application of ICT in governance, and strengthening cooperation and promoting further investment in future industries in digital transformation in the Mekong sub-region, especially in the field of digital economy, national single window, e-commerce, cybersecurity, secured 5G network, artificial intelligence and big data. The Meeting also commended the advancement of Mekong-ROK cooperation in ICT-driven projects, such as the establishment of smart cities and digital government.

 

7.6 Environment The Meeting recognized the importance of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation, water resources management, forestation, sustainable energy, long-range and cross-border air pollution management, climate change adaptation and sustainable infrastructure in achieving better cooperation for sustainable development and co-prosperity in the Mekong region. The Meeting reaffirmed the important role of the Korea-Mekong Water Resources Collaboration Research Center (KMCRC) as an output of the 1st Mekong-ROK Summit, and agreed to strengthen the continued collaboration between the Mekong-ROK Cooperation and the Mekong River Commission (MRC). It noted with appreciation the steadfast dedication of the Korea-Mekong Forest Cooperation Center (KMFCC) and the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) in the restoration of forest and degraded land. The Meeting also commended that the IoT 4 Mekong Delta project in Vietnam, supported by the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) initiative, contributed to developing cost-efficient and innovative solutions to predict and manage flood events in the Mekong Delta using real-time data apps, and thereby protecting agricultural and community livelihoods in the region.

 

7.6 Non-traditional Security Challenges The Meeting noted the importance of joint efforts in addressing non-traditional security challenges such as the global pandemic, natural disasters, climate change, and transnational crimes. The Meeting attached importance to cooperation in building member countries’ capacities to respond to the current pandemic and enhance preparedness for future uncertainties. The Meeting further reaffirmed its commitment towards implementation of the priorities outlined in the Work Programme 2021-2025 of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and noted with appreciation the achievements in the Korea-Mekong Future Peace Community Program in promoting peace and security in the region. The Meeting shared the view that the police cooperation is imperative in criminal intelligence and investigative capacity building to tackle transnational crimes in the region.

 

8. The Meeting recognized the significance of the cooperation between the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) that will promote partnership and cooperation in the Mekong region. The Meeting also agreed to fully implement the Action Plan 2020-2022, which stipulates providing joint training programs and dispatching experts between TICA and KOICA.

 

9. The Meeting noted with appreciation that the ROK has contributed to the sustainable development in the Mekong region through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) over the last three decades. The Meeting also emphasized the importance of further enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of ODA in line with the needs of people in the Mekong region.

 

10. The Meeting expressed its appreciation for the ROK’s contribution of 10.42 million USD to the Mekong-ROK Cooperation Fund (MKCF) since 2013 and welcomed its additional contributions of 4 million USD into the fund in 2021 in advancing needs-based cooperation in the Mekong region.

 

10. 1 The Meeting acknowledged the progress made in the span of fourth batches of twenty-six MKCF-supported projects: seven projects endorsed in 2016, six projects in 2017, seven projects in 2019, and six projects in 2020. Among the twenty-six projects, 9 projects have been completed, while 17 projects are in progress.

 

10. 2 Acknowledging the growing demand for the MKCF as seen in the increase of the number of proposals submitted over the past four rounds of open calls— from sixteen in 2016 to one-hundred-and-one in 2019 at its highest; and eighty-two in 2020 even during the COVID-19 pandemic across the region—, The Meeting took note that a total of seventy nine project proposals were submitted in the fifth round of open calls for MKCF this year.

 

10. 3 The Meeting Meeting endorsed the fifth batch of the MKCF-supported projects for 2021, which are ‘Capacity Building for Road Maintenance Methodology to Promote Sustainable Infrastructure in CLV Countries’, ‘Livelihood Development for Sustainable Forest Governance in Northern Laos’, ‘Impact of Migration on Rural Development with Special Emphasis on Agriculture of Mon State, Myanmar’, ‘Enhancing Community and Small-scale Water Resource Management in the Mekong Region’, ‘Mekong Leadership Program and Capacity Building Activities (Mekong LEAD and Mekong BUILD)’, ‘Promotion of Innovative Rainwater For Drinking system as a sustainable water supply in rural Health Care Facilities and/or Schools’, and ‘Sustainable and Smart Agricultural Supply Chain Development in Mekong Countries’.

 

11. The Meeting expressed its appreciation that the Mekong Institute and the ROK have worked closely to manage the MKCF in line with its objectives and the seven new priority areas outlined in the Mekong-Han River Declaration.

 

(Engagement of Private Sector)

 

12. The Meeting commended the progress made in the Mekong-ROK Business Forum through the establishment of the Mekong-ROK Business Council as stated in the Mekong-Han River Declaration. The Meeting underlined the importance of strengthening cooperation between the public and private sector, especially for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to facilitate trade, investment and business flows for a resilient post-pandemic recovery and green clean energy for trade development in future economy, stimulating supply chain linkages and promoting integration in the Mekong region.

 

13. The Meeting highlighted successful results of the 8th Mekong-ROK Business Forum held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, in December 2020 under the theme of “Business in the New Normal: Turning Vulnerability into Resilience” and welcomed with high hopes the 9th Mekong-ROK Business Forum, which will be held in Cambodia later this year.

 

(Future Direction)

 

14. Recognizing the profound and multi-faceted impacts of COVID-19 on people’s lives, the Meeting renewed its commitment to stand in full solidarity and strengthen cooperation in key areas such as COVID-19 vaccines, public health and economy, in particular improving resiliency of regional supply chains to not only prevent and mitigate the negative socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, but also expedite a return to the socio-economic normalcy in the Mekong sub-region.

 

15. The Meeting expressed the importance of aligning the seven initiatives under New Southern Policy Plus (NSPP) with the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration in accelerating inclusive, resilient and sustainable socio-economic recovery in the Mekong region for a safer, richer, and healthier life for all people across the region in a post-pandemic era. Meeting acknowledge the need for further cooperation in strategic areas and priority directions as defined in the NSPP and ACRF in order to put forward practical cooperation initiatives and projects.

 

16. Considering the opportunity brought by the technology innovation for economic recovery and long-term resilient development, the Meeting agreed to support the implementation of ASEAN Digital Master Plan 2025, and looked forward to enhancing the capacity of the Mekong countries in the fields of digital governance, digital economy, Artificial Intelligence (AI), e-commerce, big data, 5G, industrial network, and cybersecurity as we embrace together in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

 

17. The Meeting shared its view that the Mekong-ROK cooperation can promote synergies with ASEAN regional integration process and other regional and sub-regional cooperation frameworks, including the Mekong River Commission (MRC), Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), Cambodia – Lao PDR – Myanmar – Viet Nam Cooperation (CLMV), Cambodia – Lao PDR – Viet Nam Development Triangle Area (CLV-DTA), Mekong – US Partnership (MUSP), Japan-U.S. Mekong Power Partnership (JUMPP), Friends of the Mekong (FOM), Greater Mekong Sub-region Economic Cooperation (GMS), Mekong-Japan Cooperation, Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) and Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC).

 

18. The Meeting noted with appreciation the ROK’s financial contribution to ACMECS–ROK cooperation projects and renewed its willingness to work together under the framework of the ACMECS Master Plan (2019-2023). Meeting valued highly the complementarity between activities under the Mekong-ROK Plan of Action 2021-2025 and the ACMECS Master Plan (2019-2023) which yield substantive benefits to the people in the Mekong region.

 

(Exchange of Views on Regional and Global Issues)

 

18. Expressing its concern over the prolonged drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong River as negative consequences of climate change and economic activities, and devastating flash floods, landslides, and tropical storms in the region, the Meeting reaffirmed its commitment to fully implement the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In this regard, the meeting reiterated the importance of increasing cooperation both bilaterally and multilaterally, including in the provision of financial resources, technology development and transfer and capacity building for Mekong countries. The Meeting welcomed the ROK’s commitment, contribution and leadership to address the global challenges such as climate change and sustainable development goals by hosting the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit in May 2021 under the theme of “Inclusive Green Recovery towards Carbon Neutrality.” The Meeting noted that the ROK has long been committed to hosting the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the ROK’s strong willingness to organizing COP28. The Meeting commended member countries’ relevant economic development approaches, including ROK’s Green New Deal and Thailand’s BCG Economy Model, and urged member countries to explore ways that these national efforts could join hands to contribute to the global endeavor of achieving sustainable, smart and green recovery and development in the post-pandemic era.

 

19. The Meeting reaffirmed its support for diplomacy and dialogue in achieving the complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Meeting supported the continued efforts made by the ROK and the Mekong countries in promoting lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Reiterating that mutual prosperity of the ROK and Mekong countries can only be fulfilled through maintaining peaceful and stable regional environment, they stressed the importance of early resumption and sustainment of dialogue amongst all parties concerned.

 

20. Acknowledging the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea, the Meeting reiterated the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability, and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation or cause damage to the marine environment, pursue peaceful resolutions of disputes, in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Meeting underlined the importance of the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety and the need for the early conclusion of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea that is in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

 

20. The ROK reiterated its support for the efforts of ASEAN in working with Myanmar for peace, stability and democracy of the country. The Meeting also appreciated the ROK’s pledge to provide additional humanitarian assistance to Myanmar with a view to combating COVID-19.

 

(12th Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting)

 

22. The Meeting agreed to hold the 12th Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, with Lao PDR and the ROK as Co-Chairs, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMC+1) with Dialogue Partners in Cambodia in 2022. date and venue will be decided in due course by the Co-Chairs.

 

(The 3rd Mekong-ROK Summit)

 

23. The Meeting agreed to work together for the 3rd Mekong-ROK Summit, on the sidelines of the ASEAN related Summits in October this year.

 

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