CEO finishes term at Mekong River Commission Secretariat

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 9th Aug 2007

Dr Olivier Cogels has completed his three-year term as Chief Executive Officer of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat. He will now continue to support water management and cooperation in the Southeast Asian region as an international consultant.

Dr Cogels said he appreciated the acknowledgment by the MRC Member States that the MRC has achieved substantial progress in the past three years and stated that his term at the MRCS had been an extremely rewarding experience.

He said the MRC was also in a very sound financial position. Over the past three years funding had increased, donor confidence had risen and the MRC had expanded its relationships with the development banks.

“During my mandate I feel we have successfully steered the MRC toward a common goal – that of an international river basin organisation which concentrates on developing its water resources for the economic benefit of the people and their countries,” he said. “As a direct consequence of this new orientation the MRC should be able to become a more powerful player in the region. In particular this approach has brought a major change in our relationship with China, which is now prepared to engage in more concrete joint cooperation with MRC.

“I feel I am leaving a stronger MRC than when I arrived. Over the past three years at the Secretariat we developed a more coordinated programme structure, we have formulated an ambitious and exciting Strategic Plan which will provide the path for the MRC’s future work and we have introduced the concept of the Mekong Programme to the region – a development programme owned by the member countries – which will bring about more involvement of the MRC with other regional initiatives.”

Dr Cogels joined the MRCS on 9 August 2004 from the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome, Italy where he was Programme Director of the International Program on Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage.

He will continue his career as a senior international consultant advising and supporting governments and international organisations in the field of water resources management and international cooperation.


For More Information

Ms Tiffany Hacker, Interim Communication Advisor
Tel: +856 56120695 or +856 21 263 263 Ext. 4703

Mr Khy Lim, Communications Officer
Tel: +856 20 5622 8131

Latest News

Media Release - Mekong leaders reaffirm the Mekong River Commission’s primary and unique role in sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin

As the 3rd Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit came to a close today, the Siem Reap Declaration was adopted by the MRC member ...

China notified about discharge of Jinghong Reservoir 5 days in advance

MRC received a one-day advance ‘emergency notification’ from China – its dialogue partner – about its planned water discharge from the Jinghong Reservoir to the lower Mekong River tomorrow, aimed to ensure power grid security

Media Release - International conference recommends priorities for the lower Mekong countries to achieve sustainable development agenda

A two-day international conference convened by the Mekong River Commission (MRC) comes to a close today...

3rd MRC Summit sets out to strengthen joint efforts and partnerships for sustainable development in the Mekong River Basin

Next week, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) will convene the 3rd MRC Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This capstone event will bring together the four Prime Ministers of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam ...

Five riparians win MRC writing competition: What does the Mekong mean to you?

Today, five Mekong riparians were named as winners of a Mekong River Commission (MRC) writing competition, which had posed the question: What does the Mekong River mean to you?

Media Contact

For media inquires, please contact:
Sopheak Meas:
Le Thi Huong Lien: or or view the Contact page here