Forum

THE MEKONG FORUM 2

ASEAN Centrality in addressing the challenges in the Mekong sub-region

The Mekong issue plays an imperative role not only for the sub-regional countries through which the river flows but also for the whole Southeast Asian region. The ASEAN – Mekong Basin Development Cooperation (AMBDC) was established as early as 1996 to enhance eco-nomic integration among member countries. However, the AMBDC has made no significant progress compared to other dynamic mechanisms in the sub-region. The reason and ra-tionale behind the vital need for ASEAN to put the Mekong sub-region on the agenda has been discussed by prominent scholars in and outside the region. In particular, ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms can create strategic space for member countries to cooperate on is-sues related to the Mekong sub-region. As the ASEAN chair for 2020, Vietnam has put the sub-regional cooperation issues on the agenda of the Association.

Details

E-Banner Mekong Forum 2
E-Banner Mekong Forum 2

Regarding regional integration, the common concern of cooperation mechanisms in the sub-region as well as in ASEAN is to find solutions to narrow the development gap between mainland Southeast Asia and maritime Southeast Asia. The critical question is how sub-regional cooperation contributes to the building of ASEAN Community.

Regarding regional security, the Mekong River Basin is currently facing various non-traditional security issues such as water security, environmental pollution, transnational crime, etc., which would be further aggravated in the future if appropriate measures are not taken. Since non-traditional security issues are borderless, other non-basin ASEAN countries may suffer unintended adverse outcomes. Therefore, a region-wide approach is required for a comprehensive solution.

For ASEAN, raising the Mekong issue on the agenda is conducive to maintaining its centrality as the center of regional architecture, helping to keep the region's cohesiveness despite conflicts and tensions. Current Mekong governance mechanisms are not multilateral but monopolistic institutional arrangements. This will, in the long run, threaten the strategic autonomy of small and medium-sized countries in the sub-region.

In addition, solving the Mekong issue as a common concern of ASEAN is closely related to building a stronger ASEAN community. The goal of "ASEAN - One Vision, One Identity, One Community" cannot be realized if the issues of the mainland ASEAN countries are excluded from the concerns of the whole bloc.

Topic for The Second Mekong Forum will be: “ASEAN Centrality in addressing the challenges in the Mekong sub-region” 

The follow – on discussion then will also focus on:

  • Assessing the key challenges that the Mekong subregion is facing that matter to ASEAN
  • Discussing the rationale and capacity of ASEAN in playing a central role in facilitating a solution for the Mekong sub-region’s challenges.  
  • Discussing the practical policy steps that ASEAN must take to promote a stronger ASEAN concensus on the Association’s indispensible role in the Mekong sub-region.

Program

14.00 - 14.15 Opening Session

DAV Vice President

Representative from German Embassy in Vietnam

14.15 - 15.20 Presentation Session

Moderator:

Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh,

Former Deputy Minister of Foreign affairs of Viet Nam

Keynote speaker:

Ambassador Bilahari Kausikan

Chairman, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore; Former Ambassador-at-Large and Policy Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

15.20 - 15.30 Break

15.30 - 16.45 Discussion Session

Moderator:

Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh,

Former Deputy Minister of Foreign affairs of Viet Nam

Commentators:

Dr Le Thu Huong

Principal Policy Fellow

Perth USAsia Centre

 

Dr. Nguyen Hung Son

Vice President

Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam

 

Q & A

16.45 - 17.00 Closing Session

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Venue

Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam
69 Chua Lang street,
Hanoi
Vietnam
Zur Webseite

Speakers

  • Ambassador Bilahari Kausikan
    • Chairman
    • Middle East Institute
    • National University of Singapore
  • Former Ambassador-at-Large and Policy Advisor
    • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • Singapore (Keynote Speaker)
  • Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh
    • Former Deputy Minister of Foreign affairs of Viet Nam (Moderator)
  • Dr Le Thu Huong
    • Principal Policy Fellow
    • Perth USAsia Centre (Commentator) Dr. Nguyen Hung Son
    • Vice President
    • Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (Commentator)
Contact

Vu Thi Thu Phuong

Vu Phuong

Project Manager

Phuong.Vu@kas.de +84 24 3 7186194 /17 +84 24 37186197