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4th MRC International Conference of Stakeholders opens in Vientiane

4th MRC International Conference of Stakeholders opens in Vientiane

The 4th Mekong River Commission (MRC) International Conference of  Stakeholders was opened on April 2 in Vientiane, Laos with the theme 'Innovation and Cooperation for a Water Secure and Sustainable Mekong'.

Lao Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bounkham Vorachit, representatives of the MRC and its commissions in four countries of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, together with more than 600 regional and global experts in fields of water and related resources, energy, food, traffic, river basin management, and governance attended the opening ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Bounkham Vorachit said that Laos is fully committed to not only sustainable but also responsible development. The Lao government attaches great importance to supporting the cooperation with Mekong countries under the 1995 Mekong Agreement, affirming that the agreement helps Laos promote cooperation and sustainable and equitable development in the Mekong River basin.

She acknowledged the important contributions of the dialogue partners, development partners, and other partners inside and outside the region, emphasising that as the region is undergoing changes and transformations rapidly, the parties need to work together more closely through innovative technologies so that the region can change the way to manage water resource, improve data and information sharing as well as strengthen technology monitoring systems.

The Lao official also encouraged participants to actively exchange views, insights, knowledge, and data. According to Bounkham, the outcome of the international conference is very important because it will be presented at the ministerial conference and the MRC Summit in April 4-5.

During the two-day conference, representatives of the parties and regional and global experts will present and discuss the most up-to-date perceptions, and innovative solutions around the problems of the Mekong River and other river basins.

The MRC is an intergovernmental organisation that works with the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam to manage the shared water and related resources of the Mekong River for the sustainable development of the Mekong region. It was founded by the Mekong Agreement of 1995, building on previous cooperation through the Mekong Committee established in 1957./.