Vientiane, Lao PDR, 1st Sep 2005
The MRC had made substantial progress in its relations with its Dialogue Partners – the People’s Republic of China and the Union of Myanmar – in recent months, H.E. Mr Sitaheng Rasphone, Chairman of the Mekong River Commission Joint Committee for 2005/2006, told the delegates at the 10th Dialogue Meeting held in Vientiane today.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had extended an invitation to the Chief Executive Officer and senior staff of the MRC Secretariat to hold technical consultations in Beijing in June and this visit provided an opportunity to explore new areas of cooperation, including the strengthening of the Dialogue Partnership, the tools used by the Flood Management and Mitigation Programme and possible training on navigation safety.
“Those potential areas for collaboration seem to me particularly promising and remarkable,” Mr Sitaheng said. “This dialogue is essential for our mutual understanding and to move further on our cooperation. The benefits of such collaboration will be at a basin wide scale.”
This annual Dialogue Meeting involves discussions between the four member countries of the MRC (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam) and delegations from the People’s Republic of China and the Union of Myanmar.
China and Myanmar have a long-standing agreement on cooperation with the MRC, particularly regarding the sharing of hydrological information and data concerning the water levels in the Mekong River. China provides the MRC’s new Regional Flood Forecasting Centre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with daily data during the flood season.
At the Dialogue Meeting MRC members briefed their dialogue partners on joint development activities involving basin development, water use, flood management and the environment, as well as sharing information on fisheries-related hydrological data and fish ecology.
They also discussed the progress of the Navigation Channel Improvement of the Lancang/Mekong River Project, the progress of other water resources related projects in the Lancang/Mekong River and the results of the Second Greater Mekong Subregion Summit, which was hosted by the People’s Republic of China in July this year.
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