Vientiane, Lao PDR, 5th Apr 2005
Senior government representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam gathered in the presence of the Lao Vice Prime Minister H.E. Mr Asang Laoly and members of the international diplomatic and donor community today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mekong River Commission.
The celebration was held at the MRC Secretariat in Vientiane, Lao PDR and commemorated the signing of the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin, which took place in Chiang Rai, Thailand on 5 April 1995.
The Chairman of the MRC Council for 2004/2005 H.E. Mr Somphong Mongkhonvilay formally named 5 April as Mekong Day and asked that communities in the region to join with the MRC each year in a celebration of Mekong Day to increase awareness of the region’s progress in the wider world.
He said that the Mekong River Commission had given true meaning to the concept of a shared vision and that over the past 10 years the MRC had not only maintained its momentum, it had also gained strength. It was now a well-established, well-run organisation with a solid network of regional, national and international partnerships in place. All four member countries were committed to long term cooperation to ensure the economic, social and cultural prosperity of the 60 million people currently living within the basin, and their future generations.
This historic agreement of 5 April 1995 was made between the four countries that share the Lower Mekong Basin who agreed to co-ordinate and promote co-operation in all fields of sustainable development, utilisation, management and conservation of the water and related resources of the Mekong Basin. At the same time they agreed to work together on formulating several procedures that would allow the water resources of the basin to be shared on an equitable basis.
Since the 1995 Agreement, the member countries have signed sub-agreements on Data and Information Sharing and Exchange, Flood Management and Mitigation Strategy, and a formal agreement with China on the exchange of hydrological and other data. A common thread through all of the MRC’s work is the facilitation of agreements between the four member countries on water use, water quantity and water quality.
The MRC now operates an integrated water resources management and development programmes in all areas of water use, environment management, flood mitigation and management, basin development planning, fisheries, watershed management, navigation and hydropower.
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