|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc gives a speech at the third Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|Viet Nam News
SIEM REAP — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has suggested the Mekong River Commission (MRC) prioritise fully implementing the 1995 Mekong Agreement and promoting its monitoring and co-ordinating role among MRC member countries.
Speaking at the third MRC Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia on April 5, he stressed the prime concern of the Vietnamese Government is how to respond to negative impacts caused by climate change in the Mekong Delta region, extreme weather phenomena and human activities.
He urged the MRC to focus on building a development planning framework in the Mekong River basin to harmonise with water resources planning and implement co-operation projects.
The Vietnamese leader also stressed the need to enhance the sharing of information and data related to the basin, and boost connectivity between the MRC and its dialogue partners and development partners, and cross-border river basin management organisations.
Themed ‘Enhancing Joint Efforts and Partnerships towards Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Mekong River Basin’, the summit saw the attendance of the Prime Ministers of the four members of the MRC namely Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Việt Nam.
It also saw the participation of the Minister of Water Resources of China and the Minister of Environment of Myanmar, the two dialogue countries of the MRC, and representatives from other development partners.
The summit reviewed collaboration within the commission and the implementation of commitments made at the second summit in Việt Nam’s HCM City in 2014, while identifying future priority areas.
The leaders agreed to apply the set of procedures of the commission on the sustainable, reasonable and equal use of water resources and other resources of the Mekong River.
They agreed the MRC should promote its role in orienting co-operation and setting measures to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals in the region.
It is necessary to enhance co-operation with mechanisms in and outside the region such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Mekong-Lancang co-operation, the Greater Mekong Sub-region co-operation and other international river basin management organisations, while encouraging public involvement in these efforts, the summit heard.
The delegates approved the Siem Reap Declaration which acknowledges achievements recorded by the commission, points to opportunities and challenges for the Mekong River Basin and affirms the importance of Mekong co-operation.
The document also outlines priority activities of the commission for the next four years and long-term plans.
In 1956, the Mekong Committee was established under the auspices of the United Nations to co-ordinate aid and manage resources in the river basin. In 1995, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Việt Nam signed an Agreement on the Co-operation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River and set up the MRC, replacing the Mekong Committee.
The MRC holds its summit every four years, starting from 2010. The first MRC summit was held in Hua Hin, Thailand in 2010 and the second took place in HCM City in 2014. — VNS