Mekong River Commission’s work progress under discussion

Siem Reap, Cambodia, 9th May 2007

The work of the Mekong River Commission now showed an increased sense of ownership by its Member Countries over the past year and had consolidated as a strong and cooperative forum for the joint development of the water and related resources of the Mekong River Basin, H.E. Mr Lim Kean Hor, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, Chairman of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee and MRC Council Member for Cambodia told a meeting held in Siem Reap today.

Mr Lim Kean Hor was addressing the 25th Meeting of the Mekong River Commission Joint Committee in a special opening session. He said he also welcomed a growing cooperation with upstream Countries, China and Myanmar, based on mutual trust.

The MRC Joint Committee consists of one member from each country at no less than Head of Department level. It is responsible for the implementation of the policies and decisions of the MRC Council and supervises the activities of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat. Representatives of four Mekong River Commission member countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam), MRC Dialogue Partners China and Myanmar, donors from any countries and partners are attending the meeting.

In his opening address H.E. Mr Sin Niny, Vice Chairman of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee and Chairman of the MRC Joint Committee for 2006-2007 explained that the participants would be discussing the MRC's achievements over the past year and also planning work for the next six months.

Dr Olivier Cogels Chief Executive Officer of the MRC Secretariat presented his report on the progress of the MRC and the implementation of its 2006-2010 Strategic Plan. The meeting heard that the organisation was financially sound and that donor support had been strong over the past six months with four major agreements being signed with the governments of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the European Commission, worth over US$24 million since the last meeting of the Joint Committee.

Over the next two days the meeting will be discussing the progress of the programme work of the MRC and will hear a report on the Hydrological Conditions in the Lower Mekong Basin.

The scope of the work of the MRC includes: basin planning, water utilisation, flood management and mitigation; agriculture, irrigation, forestry, navigation, fisheries and environmental monitoring. There is a major emphasis on capacity building and knowledge management within all of these areas.

 -ends-

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