3rd Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit to Focus on Development and Management of Water Resources

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SIEM REAP – The prime ministers of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam will endorse a declaration to strengthen joints efforts and partnerships in the region during the 3rd Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit starting Wednesday.

The summit is being held in Siem Reap in Cambodia Wednesday and Thursday with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha scheduled to attend, said assistant government spokesperson Col Atisith Chainuvati.

According to details provided by the cabinet Tuesday, the declaration will focus on enhancing cooperation in the development and management of water resources in the Mekong River Basin with the MRC’s dialogue partners, namely China and Myanmar.

The document will also outline priorities for the next four years and reiterate the responsibility of member countries for the future health and wealth of the Mekong River Basin.

The summit will see the leaders discussing a wide array of issues and challenges that the region is facing, namely economic growth, a growing population, infrastructure development, climate impact, energy, food, urbanisation and industrialisation, and water security.

Since its inception in 1995, the commission has focused on promoting the optimal and well‐balanced development of the basin while ensuring the equitable sharing of benefits among stakeholders.

It has succeeded in carrying out the six-month consultation process for the Pak Beng hydropower project and the finalisation of guidelines on environmental impact mitigation for hydropower and for transboundary environmental impact assessments.

The commission also serves as a water diplomacy platform as well as a knowledge hub for water resource management for the sustainable development of the Mekong region.

This 3rd MRC Summit was preceded by two previous summits, the first held in 2010, hosted by Thailand in Hua Hin, and the second in 2014, hosted by Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City.

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