ADB Supports Greater Mekong Subregion Initiatives to Promote Role Of Youth

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (10 December 2014)– In an effort to highlight the contribution of youth to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), Asian Development Bank (ADB) is assisting 36 national youth representatives from Mekong countries on a journey of learning, to culminate in a youth message to the 5th GMS Summit to be held in Bangkok, Thailand next week.

Participants in the GMS Youth Caravan, including six representatives from Cambodia, will journey for one week from Jinghong in the People’s Republic of China, through Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), onwards to the border of Myanmar and Thailand and then to Bangkok via southern Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Cambodia. On 20 December – the Summit’s second day - they will present a message based on their experiences to the gathered GMS ministers.

“The caravan will be the springboard for participants to develop the message they wish to deliver at the GMS Summit,” said Lainie Thomas, Civil Society Specialist at ADB. “The message’s content is up to them, but is likely to highlight the importance of recognizing the contribution of youth to the future of the GMS, and the challenges they face in making that contribution.”

The caravan will enable participants to learn more about the GMS Economic Cooperation Program, its achievements and challenges, while helping them better understand the issues which affect youth, and how regional connectivity can promote development. The caravan activities will include discussions with development experts, presentations, and stops at ADB-financed projects related to energy, environment, health, trade facilitation, tourism, and communication.

The GMS Summit is the highest forum of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program and helps to set the Program’s broad agenda until the next Summit, to be held in 3 years. The Program was established in 1992 to enhance economic cooperation and shared prosperity through improvements in infrastructure, cross-border trade and tourism, greater private sector participation, human resource development, and sustainable use of shared natural resources.

The Program comprises the 6 Mekong countries, with ADB as its secretariat. It has mobilized over $16 billion in financing for nearly 70 infrastructure investment projects.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including co-financing of $6.6 billion.

Last Updated: 10 December 2014