Statement by H.E. Mme. Monemany Nhoybouakong - 22nd Meeting of the MRC Council

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 13th Jan 2016

Twenty-second Meeting of the MRC Council, Agenda D.1
Session2: Joint Meeting with the Twentieth Development Partner Consultative Group
Mekong River Commission
13th January 2016
Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA

Statement

By

H.E. Mme. Monemany Nhoybouakong
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Alternate Member of the MRC Council for Lao PDR
Deputy Alternate Chairperson of the Lao National Mekong Committee
Head of the Lao PDR Delegation

 

Your Excellency Mr. Lim Kean Hor
Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology
Chairman of Cambodia National Mekong Committee
Chairman of the MRC Council for 2015/2016

Your Excellency General Surasak Karnjanarat
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Chairman of Thai National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Thailand

Your Excellency. Mr. Chu Pham Ngoc Hien
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Vice Chairman of Viet Nam National Mekong Committee
Alternate Member of the MRC Council for Viet Nam

Your Excellency Mr. Bun Hean
Secretary of State of Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology
Permanent Vice-Chairman of Cambodia National Mekong Committee
Alternate Member of the MRC Council for Cambodia

Distinguished Delegates,
Distinguished Representatives from Development Partners and
International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is indeed my great honour and privilege to join the Twenty-Second Meeting of the MRC Council and the Joint Meeting with the Twentieth Development Partner Consultative Group, in the charming Phnom Penh Capital City of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Allow me to express, on behalf of the Government of Lao PDR, our utmost sincere congratulation and appreciation to the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia through HE Mr. Lim Kean Hor for the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting and for the warm welcome being extended to our Delegation. May I seize this opportunity to sincerely praise Viet Nam for its effective chairmanship during the year 2014-2015. I do also believe that under the chairmanship of HE Mr. Lim Kean Hor for the year 2015-2016, our MRC will record more meaningful outcomes.


Our meeting is convened at almost two weeks after the enter into act of the ASEAN Economic Community, one month after the historical 21st Conference of Parties under the United Nations on Climate Change Convention Framework and three months post the Sustainable Development Goals adoption. What we have discussed since yesterday will contribute to the effectiveness implementation of not only the 1995 Mekong Agreement but also to the mentioned historical milestones.


With respect to regional cooperation, we reaffirm our leaders’ commitment to the MRC’s objective of achieving financial self-reliance by 2030. We very welcome the MRC Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and the updated MRC IWRM-based Basin Development Strategy 2016-2020. With regard to their implementation, we would like to emphasize on strengthening basin wide resilience to climate change impacts, namely natural disasters risk reduction by improving the existing Meteo-hydrological stations and expanding them in potential hotspot areas and others, as well as increase the forest area in the whole basin.

The MRC member countries must lead the ways in promoting sustainable development of the Lower Mekong Basin in order to advance the goals of reducing poverty, eliminating pollution and promoting trade among the riparian countries. This is intended to provide a political signal that demonstrates the breadth of support and scale of momentum for a transition to a low-emission and climate resilient economy, as well as effectively implement each Member Country Intended Nationally Determined Contribution.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Despite tremendous challenges, the Government of Lao PDR reiterates is strong commitment to the effective implementation of the 1995 Mekong Agreement and the fight against the climate change. This aim is clearly stated in the objectives of our 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan for Years 2016-2020, reflected in our NIP and our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. Among the goals are that: by the year 2020, 70% of the country's land will have forest cover; five main Mekong sub-river basin will be managed with the IWRM approach; 90% of the Lao rural households will have electricity; hydropower exports will expand to enable neighboring countries to grow more sustainably with clean and renewable energy. This utmost endeavor will indeed enable Laos to continue contributing 35% to the flow of the Mekong River Basin and the abundance of its biological diversity resource.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Mekong has long been the river of friendship facilitating people-topeople contact as well as economic, social and cultural exchanges. Therefore, the MRC has encouraged its four member countries enhancing development cooperation, properly managing and maintaining the Mekong River Basin in a sustainable manner in the spirit of mutual respect of sovereignty and for mutual benefits. 

In the spirit of solidarity, cooperation and mutual understanding, the member countries have vigorously fulfilled their obligations pertaining Mekong

River Basin development. In general, we have observed that development activities in the basin have been properly managed without tension or confrontation. Indeed, these are lessons learned that we should continue to cherish in order to make the Mekong River of peace, friendship and cooperation.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to all development partners, development banks, international organizations and civil societies for their effective and relentless assistance to the MRC activities from which Lao PDR has strengthened its capacity in the area of sub river basin management in an more integrated and effective manner than
before.

Before concluding, I am convinced that cooperation between the MRC and dialogue partners, development partners and international organizations will be further enhanced, and bring about tangible benefits to the Member Countries and countries in the region and the world.

Lastly, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the National Mekong Committee of Cambodia. Our heartfelt thanks also go to the MRCS for its effective support.

May I wish our Meeting with fruitful success.

Khob Chai Lai Lai!

Ok Koon Chaleun!

Thank You Very Much!