Vientiane, Lao PDR, 26 January 2018 – The Mekong River Commission launched its official website for the 3rd Summit and International Conference today and called for contribution and participation to the events. The Summit, which will be held on 5 April 2018 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, brings together the Prime Ministers of the Member Countries — Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam — as well as high-level delegations from MRC Dialogue Partners, China and Myanmar, to address the prevailing challenges and optimizing opportunities facing the Mekong River and its people.

The Summit aims to strengthen cooperation and understanding under the slogan ‘One Mekong, One Spirit’. Mr. Pham Tuan Phan, MRC Chief Executive Officer, says the slogan gets to the heart of what the 3rd Summit is all about.

“The Mekong spirit symbolizes a combination of collective courage, statesmanship, perseverance and goodwill, reflecting a collective desire for mutual understanding and accommodation to achieve a shared vision for the Mekong.”

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Three Mekong Prime Ministers, Permanent Secretary of Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Myanmar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs meet at 2nd MRC Summit

Before the Summit, a major International Conference will be held on 2-3 April, providing an opportunity for the MRC and stakeholders from NGOs, academia, the private sector, and other river basin organizations in the region and around the world to exchange perspectives, best practice, and cutting-edge ideas.

Plenary keynotes and discussions on global developments, implications and opportunities for the Mekong frame the floor for more in-depth exchanges during parallel sessions. These include discussions on how to strengthen cooperation and partnerships with other regional mechanisms and frameworks, including the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, ADB’s Greater Mekong Subregion Program and ASEAN.

Key messages from the Conference’s stakeholders will be delivered to the Summit.

To maintain the spirit of open dialogue, the MRC is calling for papers and presentations from international and regional partners and stakeholders. To encourage participation in the conference, registration is free, and a limited number of travel grants are also available for those with a real need for financial assistance. 

The MRC was established with the signing of the Mekong Agreement in 1995 to manage the Mekong River basin in a sustainable and equitable manner through dialogue and cooperation. It is a treaty-based inter-governmental body, with over 60 years of Mekong cooperation history, that serves as a unique platform for water diplomacy through basin-wide strategies, procedures, guidelines and extensive knowledge base for sound decision making. Its uniqueness also lies in its long history of openness, stakeholder engagement and partnerships from around the world.

The 3rd MRC Summit therefore will focus on the theme of ‘Joint Efforts and Partnerships to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Mekong River Basin’. 

“The Mekong Prime Ministers are expected to reaffirm their highest political commitment to the 1995 Mekong Agreement and the mandate of the MRC; recognize the progress, contribution and achievements of the organization in fostering benefits of cooperation and managing transboundary issues; and, set strategic priorities ahead for the Mekong River basin,” Mr. Pham says.

For information on the Summit and Conference and on how to register, please visit:

Read this media release in Khmer Lao | Thai Vietnamese

Note to editors:

Every four years, the MRC holds a Summit where Prime Ministers of its Member Countries meet. Two Summits have been organized since 1995. The First Summit was held in 2010 and hosted by Thailand in Hua Hin; the Second MRC Summit was in 2014 and hosted by Viet Nam in Ho Chi Minh City. MRC Dialogue Partners, China and Myanmar, also participated in both Summits at a high level.

The First MRC Summit launched the reforms of the MRC to strengthen ownership and achieve financial sustainability by 2030, including the decentralization and riparianization processes. This was stated in the Hua Hin Declaration, issued by the four Mekong leaders. The Declaration reaffirmed the solidarity and the highest level of political commitment to the implementation of the 1995 Mekong Agreement and it called other Riparian States to join the MRC at an early stage for sustainable development of the Mekong River basin. The Declaration also recognized that development of water and related resources will make a significant contribution to socio-economic development of the region, but may also have negative impacts on the basin environment that need to be fully addressed.

The Second MRC Summit built on the achievements from the First MRC Summit and global best practice by discussing how to operationalize water-food-energy nexus thinking, and how capabilities across the basin and institutions can support the sustainable development and management of the Mekong River basin in the face of many future uncertainties, including climate change. This Second MRC Summit issued the Ho Chi Minh City Declaration to reaffirm solidarity and the highest level of political commitment to the implementation of the 1995 Mekong Agreement; recall the First MRC Summit’s priority actions and commitments and recognize the achievements since the First Summit; and, prioritize seven areas of activities to address.


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