Welcome Address by H.E.Mr. Noulinh Sinbandhit - 19th Meeting of the MRC Council, Session 1

Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, 16th Jan 2013

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

Welcome Address

By

His 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. Lim Kean Hor

Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology
Chairperson of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Cambodia

Excellency Mr. Viraphonh Viravong
Vice Minister of Energy and Mines
Vice Chairperson of Lao National Mekong Committee
Alternate Member of the MRC Council for Lao PDR

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,

Sabaydee! Good morning. I have the great honor to welcome all distinguished delegates to the Nineteenth Meeting of the Mekong River Commission Council.

It is by now nearly two decades since the implementation of the 1995 Agreement. Since then we have witnessed the unique spirit of cooperation and mutual assistance among the MRC Member Countries, our determination to continue to cooperate and promote sustainable development in a constructive and mutually beneficial manner.

Our willingness to cooperate on the basis of sovereign equality and territorial integrity, the utilization, conservation and management of the Mekong River Basin water and related water resources in a manner to optimize the multiple-use and mutual benefits of all riparians and to minimize the harmful impact that might result from natural occurrences and man-made activities has been experienced throughout these years. 

Once a year, this gathering is a meaningful platform for our Council Members to discuss important issues as well as review the progress the MRC has made over the year and the elaboration of specific intervention plans. There has been significant development that will require our close attention and deliberation during the next two days. 

Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and gentlemen, 

It is pleased to note the last year performance. On behalf of the Lao National Mekong Committee, and as the Chairperson of the MRC Council for 2012/2013, I would like to seize this opportunity to extend my sincere congratulation and appreciation to His Excellency Mr. Lim Kean Hor for his chairmanship and the noteworthy achievements over the past year. 

As mentioned by His Excellency, the last Council Meeting paved the way for milestone achievements for the four Member Countries. These include the Council decision on the need for the MRC to conduct further study on sustainable development and management of the Mekong River.

I am delighted to learn that the implementation of the decision has been underway. I look forward to hearing more about this initial priority action as today’s session moves on.

Equally significant for tomorrow’s joint session with our Development Partners are namely the implementation of the IWRM-based Basin Development Strategy, and the MRC Strategic Plan 2011-2015. These guiding elements provide the MRC with essential tools for regional and national capacities as well as integrated planning.

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I believe that our today Meeting will reach its objectives because of our unique Mekong Spirit of Solidarity and Mutual Assistance, as well as active participation from all Member Countries.

May I wish our Meeting every success.

With that said, I declare the Nineteenth Meeting of the MRC Council open.

Thank you