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Roundup: Fourth GMS Summit endorses new ten-year strategic framwork

12-20-2011 14:36 BJT

NAY PYI TAW, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Fourth Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Summit opened and endorsed the New GMS Strategic Framework for 2012-2022 at the Myanmar International Convention Center here Tuesday.

Under the theme "Beyond 2012: Towards a New Decade of GMS Strategic Development Partnership," the summit aims to come out with new ideas on how to move the GMS process forward in cooperation with its development partners. It also aims to review the past activities and lay down plans for future cooperation.

"The fourth GMS Summit is taking place at a critical juncture for our subregional group, while the global economic situation is gloomy," said chairman of the summit, Myanmar President U Thein Sein.

He said the GMS program, which is approaching into its third decade of cooperation, has greatly enhanced among GMS countries in various sectors.

However, "although our subregion has shown remarkable resilience in facing recent global economic crisis, we should not be complacent about the current achievement and the group needs to strive more in order to achieve our shared vision of an integrated, harmonious and prosperous subregion," he said.

A new 10-year strategic framework for the GMS was endorsed at the summit by leaders of the six GMS countries -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Myanmar's President U Thein Sein, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

The new GMS Strategic Framework 2012-2022 focuses on "the second generation initiatives of the GMS cooperation," as emerging issues and concerns are posing potentially more serious risks to the GMS's continued growth and development, U Thein Sein said, referring to the climate change, energy sufficiency, food security, natural resource sustainability, logistics and human resource development, among others.

As the next decade will require greater efforts to deal with an increasing complex agenda, the new strategic framework will serve as the guidance for the subregion's development and it "will be guiding GMS cooperation into new frontiers," U Thein Sein said, calling on GMS countries and stakeholders to show their commitment to successfully implement the strategic framework in face of new challenges.

He also said the new strategic framework must be followed by a plan of action, which will provide monitorable projects and activities. "We believe that in line with the new theme of the summit, our sub-regional group will continue to explore new opportunities, working with our development partners, so that all member countries can benefit from various cooperative activites,"U Thein Sein said

The GMS leaders will also sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Joint Action to Reduce HIV Vulnerability Related to Population Movement, MoU on the Joint Cooperation in Further Accelerating the Construction of the Information Superhighway and its Application in the GMS, and Articles of Association of the GMS Freight Transporters Association, as well as a joint declaration later in the day.

The meeting also gathered together GMS ministers, GMS delegations, ADB stuff and business representatives from the GMS Business Forum.

The Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program was started from 1992 by the six countries sharing the Mekong River -- Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Asian Development Bank initiated the program and acts as GMS's coordinator, financing bank and technical supporter.

The first GMS Summit was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2002, during which the first ten-year GMS Strategic Framework (2002-2012) was endorsed. The second GMS Summit was held in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, in 2005 and the third GMS Summit was held in Vientiane, Laos in 2008.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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