Mekong leaders to call for innovative solutions to challenges in their upcoming MRC Summit
Heads of government from four Mekong River Commission (MRC) Member Countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam and high-level representatives from MRC Dialogue Partners: China and Myanmar will meet this early April to deliberate the fate of the Mekong River Basin.
Vientiane, Lao PDR, 10 January 2023 — The 4th MRC Summit and International Conference will occur in person from 2 to 5 April 2023 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. This MRC’s highest-political event will see the six riparian countries discuss the latest developments, opportunities, and innovative solutions to unprecedented challenges facing the Mekong River—Southeast Asia’s largest waterway—from water-related development impacts to climate change.
“The Mekong is undergoing tremendous transformations,” says Dr Anoulak Kittikhoun, Chief Executive Officer of the MRC Secretariat. “We need to innovate constantly—in policy, approach and technology—to make the management and development of the Mekong River Basin more responsible and sustainable.”
The 4th MRC Summit will be preceded by an International Conference on 2 and 3 April 2023, centred around the “Innovation and Cooperation for a Water Secure and Sustainable Mekong” theme.
The Conference is expected to bring around 400 stakeholders, experts, and enthusiasts worldwide to the Mekong—from government agencies, international organisations, the private sector, academia, and civil society. They will exchange thought-provoking insights, applied knowledge, and practical experiences on water-related innovation to enhance Mekong cooperation. Interested individuals or organisations must register to participate in advance. Experts are especially welcome to submit proposals to speak at the Conference.
This global event will cover reflections on critical developments, prospects, and issues in managing the Mekong River Basin. Keynote speeches from leaders in various fields will spotlight leading innovations in policy, technology, and transboundary cooperation.
These context-setting openings will set the stage for expert panel sessions. They will delve into how innovative technologies and cooperation are transforming transboundary water management; and how responsible financing and gender inclusiveness are making a difference in water resources management. Participants will witness stimulating discussions, interactive exhibitions, and sharing of cutting-edge technologies and imaginative solutions that can more effectively address Mekong’s challenges.
Key messages and actionable recommendations from the Conference will feed into the Summit, where Mekong leaders will determine Mekong’s future and strategic direction.
The Summit is the MRC’s highest-level political event aimed at uplifting Mekong cooperation under the MRC framework, strengthening solidarity and setting a common direction among the Mekong riparian countries and stakeholders. Three Summits have been held to date: in Thailand (2010), Viet Nam (2014), and Cambodia (2018).
For more information on the 4th MRC Summit and International Conference, please visit www.mrcsummit.org.
Note to Editors:
The MRC is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1995 to uplift and coordinate sustainable management and development of the Mekong River Basin. The organisation serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy and the Mekong knowledge hub, following the Mekong Agreement among Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam.