Mekong leaders seek sound judgment on development risks

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Vientiane, Lao PDR, 5th Apr 2014

Accelerating basin-wide studies to reduce negative impacts and battling natural disaster woes are among key priorities for Mekong nations

HO CHI MINH CITY, Viet Nam, 5th April 2014—Heads of government of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam today reaffirmed their commitment to the Mekong cooperation, to follow up the implementation of the Hua Hin Declaration of 2010, and set priorities for the Mekong River Commission, including the need to expedite studies and research for sound advice and recommendations on development that will increasingly place burdens on Mekong resources.

The Ho Chi Minh City Declaration was adopted by The Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung; The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen; The Prime Minister of Lao PDR, H.E. Mr. Thongsing Thammavong; and the Special Envoy of The Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow.

Among its conclusions, the leaders stated that The MRC Council Study and the Mekong Delta Study will provide a basis for better understanding about potential risks and benefits of development initiatives.

At the end of the Second MRC Summit, the national leaders also set other priorities for the Mekong River Commission to take action to address regional opportunities and challenges over the next decade including population growth, increasing demand for water, food and energy and climate change.

The Council Study on Sustainable Management and Development of the Mekong River, including the impacts of mainstream hydropower projects has been initiated by the MRC Council which comprises water and environment ministers at their annual Meeting in December 2011. The Council Study aims to provide a better picture on potential transboundary impacts due to mainstream developments.

“To address such challenges, national efforts are not enough. We need to strengthen regional cooperation, particularly among the riparian countries, both upper and lower, through multilateral and sub-regional mechanisms such as the MRC,” said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, whose country hosted the Second MRC Summit.

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