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Press Release: Progress of the Ho Chi Minh City Declaration implementation and Mekong Lancang Cooperation at the top of agenda for Mekong River Commission meetings

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 25th Aug 2017

Mekong River Commission (MRC) Joint Committee (JC) gathered for three days, from 22 to 24 August 2017, to discuss on several important issues with the focus on the implementation of Ho Chi Minh City Declaration and Mekong -Langcang Cooperation. The first three days were devoted to the meetings of the JC (the 46th meeting) and the fourth day for the 20th Dialogue Meeting with upstream partners of China and Myanmar. 

In his speech, Dr. Inthavy Akkharath, Secretary General of Lao National Mekong Committee Secretariat, Chairperson of the MRC Joint Committee for 2017, said: “I believe we can work together to increase our resilience, to work more efficiently toward a more sustainable development of the Mekong River and its related resources.”

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The implementation of the MRC Ho Chi Minh City Declaration and progress since the 44th Meeting were the highlights for this JC meeting. This included the promotion of the Joint Projects under the National Indicative Plans, the elaboration of the Joint Action Plan for following up on the implementation of the agreed Statement for the Pak Beng Prior Consultation, actions on other MRC Procedures, progress on the final phase of the Council Study including impacts of mainstream hydropower projects, cooperation with partners, and review of the MRC Mid-Year Report 2017.  After several rounds of consultation, the Joint Committee approved Fraud Prevention and Anti-Corruption mechanism and Code of Conduct as well as the Basin-wide Fisheries Management and Development Strategy. 

In view of the 3rd MRC Summit to be held on 5 April 2018 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, a roadmap for preparation was also decided, with the Summit for the first time to be preceded by a Regional Stakeholder Forum and International Seminar. Based on the Roadmap for reforms, the JC also approved the establishment and operationalization of four Expert Groups: Data, Modelling and Forecasting; Basin Planning; Environmental Management; and Strategy and Partnership. 

In the annual dialogue meeting with China and Myanmar, CEO Pham Tuan Phan updated on the cooperation with the two upstream riparian countries highlighting recent initiatives and cooperation. Attaching great importance to the cooperation with MRC, China recounted many activities that it had cooperated with MRC and Mekong countries, including high-level visits, technical visits and exchanges, data sharing, capacity building and joint study. It provided information on the Mekong Lancang Cooperation framework and positively considered the proposal from MRC to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Lancang Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Center. China also expressed willingness to work with MRC further on emergency discharge notification mechanism from their dams into the Mekong river. As for Myanmar, the representative expressed appreciation for the dialogue opportunity, stating that it is considering becoming a member of the MRC in the future.

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Note to Editors: 

The MRCis the intergovernmental organization established to promote cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin whose members include Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. The MRC acts as a platform for water diplomacy and regional cooperation in which member countries share the benefits of common water resources despite different national interests, and address transboundary pressures in the basin. It also serves as a knowledge hub that promotes regional cooperation and policy-making based on scientific evidence. The commission looks across all sectors including sustaining fisheries, identifying opportunities for agriculture, maintaining the freedom of navigation, flood management and preserving important ecosystems. Superimposed on these are the future effects of more extreme floods, prolonged drought and sea level rise associated with climate change. 

For more information, please contact: 

Ms. Le Thi Huong Lien, Communication Officer

Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Vientiane, Lao PDR

huonglien@mrcmekong.org  mrcmedia@mrcmekong.org

T +856-21 263 263 M+856-20 98311496

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