Senior officials of the four member countries – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam gathered in Luang Prabang on Apr 26-27 for the Forty-Fifth Meeting of the Joint Committee (JC) of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to deliberate on key issues and activities of the MRC.
I acknowledge the tremendous challenges lying ahead of us, including but not limited to such things as addressing the effects of floods, drought, climate change, possible mainstream development projects, and transboundary impacts from such development. Nevertheless, with the trust and support extended by other JC members, I am fully convinced these obstacles will gradually be overcome, said Dr Inthavy Akkharath, Acting Secretary General of Lao National Mekong Committee Secretariat and Chairperson of the MRC Joint Committee for 2017.
Participants discussed the implementation of MRC Procedures, including the ongoing Prior Consultation process for the Pak Beng hydropower project; implementation of the Basin Development Strategy, especially the recently agreed joint projects of National Indicative Plans; the ongoing work on preparing the State of Basin Report; strategic cooperation plans with dialogue partners � China and Myanmar, including the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Mechanism, and other partners; the ongoing MRC decentralization; and implementation of Public Participation and stakeholder engagement.
The Joint Committee agreed to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the MRC and Morocco and is considering the new MoU between the MRC and ASEAN.
The meeting was also an opportunity for participants to provide guidance on the establishment of Expert Groups; operations of the MRC Regional Flood Management and Mitigation Center; the Council Study; the implementation of the MRC Annual Work Plan 2017; and financial and human resources issues. The Joint Committee urged the secretariat to expedite activities relating to climate change, flood and drought management.
Source: Lao News Agency