Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ho Chi Minh City to host Second Mekong Summit on April 5

The Cambodia Herald, Dec. 12, 2013

PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) --Vietnam plans to hold the Second Mekong River Commission Summit in Ho Chi Minh City in April as the inter-govermental agency enters its 20th year of operations.

In a statement, the agency said key priority areas would include "best ways in which the MRC can promote its effectiveness and ownership by Member Countries by 2030."

Other key priorities would be to "reinvigorate regional cooperation in the transboundary management of water and related resources ahead of the establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015," the statement said.

The First MRC Summit in Hua Hin in Thailand in 2010 brought together the prime ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, the four members of the MRC. China and Myanmar are "dialogue partners" of the agency.

In a background paper, the MRC said the summit in April would discuss progress in implementing a declaration adopted in Hua Hin four years ago.

The leaders will also discuss decentralising core river basin management functions as well as unspecified "challenges" facing the Mekong basin along with "regional cooperation for sustainable development and management." 

A joint statement is expected to recognise the MRC's achievements and reaffirm the political commitment to implement the Mekong Agreement signed by the four countries in 1995, the background paper said.

The statement will also assess progress in implementing the Hua Hin Declaration, decentralisation and cooperation among MRC members as well as China and Myanmar to "maximise the regional benefits and minimise the regional cost of water uses and its related uses," it said.

In addition, the joint statement will "set priority areas for cooperation under the MRC for the next four years, which can be used as a basis for development of the next Strategic Plan 2016-2020."

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