Statement by H.E Mr. Sin Niny - The 18th Meeting of the MRC Council, Joint Meeting with the MRC Donor Consultative Group

Siem Reap, Cambodia, 9th Dec 2011

H.E Mr. Sin Niny, Permanent Vice-Chairman of Cambodia National Mekong Committee, Alternate Member of the MRC Council for Kingdom of Cambodia, Head of Delegation of Cambodia

H.E Mr. Lim Kean Hor
Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology
Chairman of Cambodia National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Kingdom of Cambodia
Chairman of the MRC Council for 2011-2012

H.E. Mr. Noulinh Sinbandhit
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Chairman of Lao National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for the Lao PDR

H.E. Mr. Preecha Rengsomboonsuk
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Chairman of Thai National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for the Kingdom of Thailand

H.E. Dr. Nguyen Thai Lai
Vice Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Vice Chairman of Viet Nam National Mekong Committee
Alternate Member of the MRC Council for the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Head of Delegation of Viet Nam

Excellencies Ambassadors and Distinguished Representatives of Development Partners, 
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor and very delighted for me and the Delegation of Cambodia to be here with Excellencies Chairman and Members of the MRC Council, all Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen gathering today for the Joint Eighteenth Council and Sixteenth Donor Consultative Group Meeting. In the name of the host country, I would like on behalf of the Delegation of Cambodia and on my own behalf, to express our sincerest and warmest welcome to you all at this important event.

On behalf of the Delegation of Cambodia, it is our great pleasure to particularly note that Development Partners and the MRC Member Countries have been closely working together with positive progress for the overall interest of sustainable development and effective management of the Mekong River Basin and its shared resources. Such a progressively move has been acknowledged the need and necessity for continuity in the future.

I am also delighted to observe that there has been strong support with progressive development from our development partners together with the MRC Member Countries to implement the 1995 Mekong Agreement.

Taking this opportunity, as one of the MRC member countries, I would like on behalf of Cambodia to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the MRC Development Partners for their continuous support and keen interest to the regional cooperation within the MRC framework, having continued to provide their financial and technical assistance for the implementation of MRC Programmes and Projects. With these assistance and support, it continues to greatly contribute to build a stronger MRC to realize the overall interest of sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin.

One year has passed, the MRC under the wise leadership of H.E Dr. Pham Khoi Nguyen and H.E. Mr. Nguyen Minh Quang, Former and Present Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Chairman of Vietnam National Mekong Committee, and Member of the MRC Council for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, served as the Chairman of the MRC Council for 2010-2011, has moved with significant progress and achievements. I would like to express on behalf of Delegation of Cambodia, our sincere appreciations to H.E Dr. Pham Khoi Nguyen and H.E. Mr. Nguyen Minh Quang, for the successful completion of their Chairmanship of the MRC Council for 2010-2011. Along with this, our sincere thanks and appreciations are also extended to the MRC Joint Committee and the Secretariat for their effective management and implementation of the concerned decisions and instructions of the MRC Council.

I would like to take this occasion to express our sincere congratulation to H.E Mr. Lim Kean Hor, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, Chairman of Cambodia National Mekong Committee and Member of the MRC Council for the Kingdom of Cambodia, for his assumption of the MRC Council Chairmanship for 2011-2012, and I would like to wish Your Excellency a great success for your noble assignment.

I am confident that under your able and wise leadership, our Commission will move forwards with further positively significant progress and achievements to be made in its operational history for the coming years.

Mr. Chairman,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The year 2011, serious flooding occurred in the Mekong Basin and the riparian countries were seriously affected in different context with severe damages caused to the human life, the local livelihood, social, cultural and economical infrastructures. I would like to take this occasion to express on behalf of the Delegation of Cambodia our shared deep sympathies for the MRC affected Member Countries over the great loss of human life and property caused by the 2011 flood.

This is a real signal of increasing impacts of climate change on each of the nations and the earth requiring our joint efforts and strategic framework for immediate actions at the national, regional and global level to effectively address the emerging impacts and challenges of climate change. The MRC Secretariat through its existing programme implementation and with cooperation and synergy with other initiatives on climate change should place its increasing attention and special emphasis on this matter of urgency aiming at ensuring the better contribution of its operational work to the better management and mitigation of the climate change impact in each of the Member Countries and in the Mekong region as a whole, both now and in the future.

In the years to come, the Commission will move with further increasing challenges, requiring the well-defined strategic framework with proper actions for solution. As a result of the emerging adverse impact of climate change together with increasing demand for development in the Mekong region and in the riparian countries, the MRC will be facing the great challenges ahead in fulfilling its mission for the sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin. It is a critical period of time, requiring all the riparian countries to work together closer to jointly address the emerging challenges. Alongside with this, continuous support and contribution from the MRC partners, especially from our donor communities is strongly required and essential and we strongly believe that our Development Partners will continue their support to the MRC and go hand in hand with the Member Countries to deal with the areas of mutual concerns and interests.

Mr. Chairman,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As decided by the MRC Council at its Seventeenth Meeting in January 2011 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to have the international Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the MRC Secretariat for another three-year term, it has been now through the implementation of the MRC Council decision on this related matter, Mr. Hans Gutman, was successfully recruited as the MRCS Chief Executive Officer. We would like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome him for his assumption of this important position at the MRC Secretariat and it is our strong hope and belief that as the MRCS CEO, he will lead the MRC Secretariat to the positive step of further progress in the changing development context.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate on behalf of Cambodia, our strong commitment and full cooperation with other MRC Member Countries as well as with the MRC Development Partners, other Mekong Partners and beyond for the sake of effective and successful implementation of the 1995 Mekong Agreement.

I do believe that the Meeting today will be successfully concluded with clearly defined strategic directions for the economically prosperous, socially just and environmentally sound Mekong River Basin.

Thank you for your kind attention.