Statement by H.E.Mr. Lim Kean Hor - 19th Meeting of the MRC Council

Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, 16th Jan 2013

Session 1: Meeting of the MRC Delegations
16 January 2013, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

Statement
By
Excellency Mr. Lim Kean Hor
Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology
Chairperson of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Cambodia
Chairperson of the MRC Council for 2011/2012

Statement

By

 Excellency Mr. Lim Kean Hor
Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology
Chairperson of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Cambodia
Chairperson of the MRC Council for 2011/2012

 

Excellency Mr. Noulinh Sinbandhit

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Chairperson of the Lao National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for the Lao PDR
Chairperson of the MRC Council for 2012/2013

Excellency Mr. Preecha Rengsomboonsuk
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Chairperson of the Thai National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Thailand

Excellency Mr. Nguyen Minh Quang
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Chairperson of the Viet Nam National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Viet Nam

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning. I have the great honour to warmly welcome you all to the Nineteenth MRC Council Meeting today in the beautiful city of Luang Prabang and would like to thank our gracious Lao hosts for their warm hospitality in this wonderful and historical part of the world.

I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to His Excellency Mr. Noulinh Sinbandhit for assuming the role of Chairperson of the MRC Council for 2012-2013. I wish him a successful tenure and know that under his able guidance the MRC will continue to strengthen and bring about further success.

I was honoured to serve as the Chairperson of the MRC Council for one year, and I would like to share a few highlights of that term with you today.

Under the guidance of the Council Members, in 2012 the MRC saw growth and prospects in many areas. These include increased support and cooperation among the Member Countries, from our Development Partners and Dialogue Partners, as well as progress on the implementation of the MRC Hua Hin Declaration.

Equally noteworthy were the MRC’s successful diplomatic processes, under which Member Countries and other stakeholders were brought together and discussed important issues, with the MRC acting as facilitator and providing technical assistance.

Since late last year, with technical expertise from the MRC in fisheries, hydrology, navigation and water resource management, Member Countries have been discussing and investigating the impacts that proposed mainstream development could have on the people and the environment of the Mekong River.

Accordingly, we achieved a consensus over the need for the MRC to conduct further studies on the sustainable development and management of the Mekong River, including the effects from mainstream hydropower development projects.

This decision has received strong support and has been welcome by all stakeholders, and I am very delighted to hear that the MRC is taking this important decision well forward.

Another milestone achievement made possible under the MRC cooperation framework, was the successful organisation of the International Conference on the Transboundary River Basin Management in May last year. The conference brought together water resource managers from river basins across the world to work out better ways for addressing the interlinked issues of water, energy and food security.

We were also impressed by the good work on enhancing capacities of riparian professionals and, in particular, delegating responsibilities to national agencies to oversee the river monitoring work.

While we had many accomplishments, we have many tasks that will need our careful attention. Addressing the effects of floods, drought, climate change and possible mainstream development projects will be one of the key challenges ahead of us in the coming years.

We also know that we cannot do all these difficult, yet life-sustaining things alone. These achievements of the MRC in the sustainable development of water and related resources will not be made without the considerable support from our Member Countries, Dialogue Partners, Development Partners and other actors.

With the continued spirit of Mekong cooperation, I hope that deliberations on the important matters tabled for this gathering will continue to bring about more sustainable outcomes.

Thank you for your kind attention.