Statement by H.E. Mr. Bun Hean - 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. Mr. Bun Hean
Secretary of State of Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology
Vice Chairman of Cambodia National Mekong Committee
Alternate Member of the MRC Council for Cambodia

H.E Mr. Lim Kean Hor
Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology
Chairman of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Cambodia
Chairman of the MRC Council for 2015-2016

H.E. Mme. Monemany Nhoyboouakong
Vice Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Vice Chairperson of Lao National Mekong Committee
Alternate Member of the MRC Council for Lao PDR

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

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

Distinguished Representatives of Development Partners,
Distinguished Representatives of Dialogue Partners,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Taking this opportunity I would like to join with Excellency Chairman and other Heads of Delegations to welcome all the distinguished representatives of Development Partners and International Organizations. Your presence in this annual consultative event signifies once again your commitment, affirmation and profound concerns to the course of sustainable development and management of the Mekong River Basin.

In commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the 1995 Mekong Agreement and the birth of the MRC, Cambodia was encouraged by the achievements of the MRC over the past two decades and reaffirmed our commitment to work with other MRC member countries in realizing the aspirations contained in the 1995 Mekong Agreement. Cambodia welcomed the approval of the Rules of Procedure for the MRC Joint Committee and Council; and the MRCS new Structure, and also looks forward for consideration and approval of the updated MRC IWRM-based Basin Development Strategy for 2016-2020 and the Strategic Plan for 2016-2020, including the Annual Work Plan for 2016.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The severe drought occurred in 2015 in the Mekong Basin and the MRC riparian countries and it has severely affected all parts of our socio-economics, environment and our communities as a whole. This is a real signal of increasing impacts of climate change on each of the member countries and in turn it requires our joint efforts and strategic framework for effective and efficient water resources management at the local, national and basin-wide levels.

To optimise the benefits of the development opportunities and to minimize the risks and negative impacts on the basin, Cambodia attaches great importance and value to the basin wide benefit-sharing and the strengthening of cooperation between the MRC member countries. Cambodia has been pleased to witness and participate in the rigorous process undertook by the MRCS for ensuring proper consultations and securing diverse inputs from all stakeholders in the development of the updated Basin Development Strategy and the Strategic Plan for 2016-2020.

This year is very critical for the MRC as it embarks upon its new strategic planning period and new structure and systems of the MRCS as well as the new funding modality. Cambodia underscores its strong commitment to support and implement the MRC reform process especially the implementation of the MRCS streamlined activities in the form of river basin management functions.

As a member country, which is committed to the reform and the increase of efficiency of the MRC and as Development Partners funding in the future will focus on only the MRC regional core functions so Cambodia has started integrating the decentralised activities into its national level planning processes in order to ensure sustainability, efficiency and financing.

Cambodia takes notes on the progress of the Council Study and expresses concern about its delay in producing the anticipated results as expected by the Member Countries, Development Partners as well as other concerned stakeholders. For the Council Study to be complete, applicable and meaningful, an inclusive process and sufficient resources are needed, and in this respect Cambodia urges the Secretariat and the Council Study team to scrutinise the process and downsize the outputs with clear milestones in place while an open, transparent and participatory process need to be maintained for all steps of the study implementation.

Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is indeed my pleasure to see the presences of many representatives of the MRC’s Development Partners. As the member states of the MRC we acknowledge that our pursuance to accomplish the balanced and responsible growth and development in the region and particularly towards the financial self-sustainability of the MRC by 2030 always adheres to the generosity from our Development Partners.

Through this Joint meeting Cambodia is looking forward to your frank concerns and constructive advices concerning the future development and management of the Mekong River Basin as well as the restructuring process and future operations of the MRC.

Taking this opportunity I would also like to express my profound gratitude and sincere thanks for your continuous valuable support to the MRC. Cambodia would highly value and appreciate your Joint Statement to be given later at this Meeting and anticipate that once again Development Partners will indicate your continuous firm commitment for further financial support over the course of transitional period in order to permit the MRC to continue implementing its core and strategic activities towards realizing our goal of having full self-finance by 2030.

In concluding my Statement, I would like to express appreciation and thanks to the staff of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee and the MRC Secretariats for their joint excellent arrangement and coordination for the Joint Twenty-second Council and the Twentieth Development Partner Consultative Group Meetings.

Thank you!