The 17th Meeting of the MRC Council, Signing of the Procedures on Water Quality

Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 26th Jan 2011

Statement by H.E. Dr. Pham Khoi Nguyen, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam, Chairman of the Viet Nam National Mekong Committee, Member of the MRC Council for Viet Nam, Chairman of the MRC Council for 2010/2011

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank all of you for joining me today in a historical moment of regional cooperation. As we long care about the degradation of the Mekong water quality due to the human activities and others, it is therefore our utmost efforts to protect the source and livelihood of over 60 million of habitants in the Basin, from now onward, would turn to a new page. At this Meeting held in Viet Nam, a member country located at the most downstream and probably would suffer from all accumulative impacts, the MRC Member Countries once again reaffirm their highest commitment through the signing of the MRC Procedures for Water Quality.

By signing this extremely important document, it is our consensus about the need to maintain good water quality in the Mekong River amid the increasing development toward sustainability in the basin and protection of the aquatic environment and healthy water resources to the next generations. The Procedures also trigger relevant activities of water quality protection and timely response to the emergency situations that would be coordinated basin-wide.

More than any other riparian, Viet Nam really appreciate the approval of the Procedures , as appreciated by the Government of Viet Nam through remarks of Excellency Mr. Deputy Prime Minister at the Opening Session this morning.

Being proud of joining other Council Members in this room for this important Ceremony, I also wish to suggest that we should not forget to put the newly signed Procedures in to expansive implementation for the benefit of the Member Countries and well-being of the people living in the basin.

Thank you for your attention