January 15-17, 2024 | Vientiane – UCLG ASPAC and local government of Vientiane have spoken with one voice regarding the conduct of the ASEAN Mayors Forum 2024. Vientiane, the Capital City of Lao PDR, the current ASEAN Chair, has confirmed to host the AMF Summit 2024, conducted back-to-back with the Meeting of Governments/Mayors of ASEAN Capitals (MGMAC), on September 18-19, 2024.
The agreement was the result of courtesy visit of the Secretary-General of UCLG ASPAC and team, together with the esteemed Director for Community Affairs of the ASEAN Secretariat, Mr. Lee Yoong Yong, and the Governor of Vientiane, Mr. Athsaphangthong Siphandone, Vice Governor, and the related divisions from Vientiane Capital City Government. The Governor supported the AMF to be held on September 18-19, spotlighting the ASEAN Chairmanship 2024 theme “ASEAN: Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience,” and bringing up discussions on (1) Smart City, (2) Green Tourism, (3) Sustainable Economic Development, (4) Clean and Sustainable City, and (5) Environmentally Sustainable City.
Joining the meeting were Mr. Sengpraathid Snookphon, Deputy Director of the ASEAN Secretariat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment (MoNRE) focusing on increasing capacity building and establishing an eco-friendly pilot city, and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), Mr. Khamkhong Laoly, Director General of the Department of Civil Service Management and Mr. Bounchan Niyavong, Director General of Local Administration Department.
Mekong Corridor Initiative
Mekong Corridor Initiative (MCI) is a joint initiative from UCLG ASPAC and Cities Alliance that involves cities and local governments in Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Viet Nam that aims to identify and enhance development catalysts to foster a more cooperation, interconnected, and sustainable network of towns and cities along the Lower Mekong basin corridor.
The Courtesy Visit also received support from the Vientiane Capital City Government to host the first MCI Dialogue on February 27-28, 2024, organised by UCLG ASPAC and Cities Alliance. Visit to the Secretariat of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and meeting with the CEO, Mr. Anoulak Kittikoune, was also conducted to ensure mutual benefits for all.
This first dialogue will serve as a platform to promote collaborative efforts in addressing the common challenges the cities and local governments face in the corridor. It will also facilitate the establishment of partnerships within the MCI network.
This initiative seeks to strengthen the capacity and expertise of towns and cities along the Mekong corridor in promoting sustainable development and economic advantages. It will also explore cooperation on solid waste management, particularly plastic and nature-based solutions approach, as part of the overarching goals.
UCLG ASPAC, local government of Vientiane, and various related parties are currently teaming up to ensure the events are fruitful and beneficial for all.