Vientiane, Lao PDR, 18 August 2021 — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Mekong River Commission will hold their first ever Water Security Dialogue to garner innovative solutions to address emerging challenges on water security across the region. 

The two-day dialogue, slated for 19–20 August 2021, will be hosted by the MRC Secretariat, in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat, with designated meeting hubs in Mekong countries. Delegates from other ASEAN countries will participate online due to COVID restrictions.

The panel discussions among senior officials, technical experts, and partners from the Mekong and wider ASEAN region will serve as a platform to exchange novel ideas and identify possible areas for collaboration to further strengthen regional and local capacities in addressing water scarcity, water pollution, and water-related disaster risks, such as flood and drought. An interactive session with youth will also be organized on the sidelines of the event to stimulate dialogue on youth-led, idea-driven advocacy for water security in the Mekong region.

The dialogue is built on the cooperation framework between ASEAN and the MRC, which aims at enhancing expertise sharing and ensuring coordination and complementarity for better utilization of water and water-related resources.

Over a hundred participants from the ASEAN Member States, development partners, and regional and international organizations are expected to join the discussion.

The first-of-its kind ASEAN–MRC Water Security Dialogue is expected to become a biennial event, with the second event scheduled for 2023.


Note to editors:

ASEAN brings together Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam in a community united by a common desire and collective will to live in a region of lasting peace, security and stability, sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and social progress, and to promote the region’s vital interests, ideals and aspirations. To learn more, visit

The Mekong River Commission is an intergovernmental organization established in 1995 for regional dialogue and cooperation in the Lower Mekong River Basin. Based on the Mekong Agreement between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam, the Commission serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy as well as a knowledge hub of water resources management for the sustainable development of the region.