Vientiane, Lao PDR, 14 Dec 2018
At the 25th Meeting of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Council on 28 November 2018 in Ha Long City of Viet Nam, Cambodia and Lao PDR, in their statement, clearly spelled out their appreciation to CEO Pham Tuan Phan. The MRC Development Partners as well as China shared their appreciation, too. This is also reflected in the initial observations of the mid-term operational and strategic review report.
The following are the extracted statements in their verbatim form.
In his closing remarks, the Council Chair announced the Member Countries’ appreciation to CEO Pham, saying that:
“As we have approved the selection of the second riparian CEO from Cambodia at this Meeting, I would like to take this opportunity to make a very special mention of the first term of a riparian CEO, widely seen as the most challenging ever for all CEOs in our cooperation history. It was notable for the pressures from the organization restructuring; declining support from Development Partners; along with the complicated issues ranging from climate change to increasing water demand and the mainstream structure’s proposals. Surprisingly, in the face of such strong headwinds, the MRC Secretariat first led by a riparian has been sailing to harbors of amazing accomplishments. With his high level of determination and vast experience, Dr. Pham Tuan Phan has successfully introduced a new example of riparian leadership of hard-working, dedication, bringing the organization to [a] world-class level. On behalf of the MRC Council, I would like to record my profound thanks and appreciation to Dr. Phan and wish him all the best in the time ahead in his outstanding career.”
In his country statement, the Minister thanked CEO Pham for leading the MRC Secretariat, saying that:
“I would like also to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Pham Tuan Phan, Chief Executive Officer of the MRC Secretariat, for his great effort in leading and managing the MRC Secretariat to have better and more effective operation. I wish Dr. Phan a great success in his new career after the completion of his term with the MRC Secretariat.”
Mr. Pholsena shared Mr. Kean Hor’s view, saying that:
“I would like to conclude by thanking the first riparian Chief Executive Officer of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat, a citizen of our dear friend Viet Nam and a citizen of the Mekong, for his strong and active promotion of the work of the MRC.”
The MRC Development Partners expressed their appreciation to the CEO, mainly for his good cooperation and achievements. They said that:
“Development Partners also take this opportunity to thank Dr Pham Tuan Phan, the first riparian CEO of the MRC Secretariat, for the good cooperation during the last three years, which have been marked by remarkable organizational and technical achievements.”
Statement by China as a Dialogue Partner of the MRC made by Mr. Li Hong, Head of Chinese Delegation
Mr. Li said that CEO Pham has been active in promoting MRC-China relation and brought it to a new level. In his own word, Mr. Li said that:
“As a dialogue partner, China is satisfied with the sustaining dialogue and ever deepening cooperation between China and MRC in the last 22 years. The dialogues in the past 4 years, which I have been witnessed by myself, were especially fruitful as evidenced by the frequent high level and active participation of China to the workshops and stakeholder events as convened by MRC. The joint study by China and MRC on the impact of cascade dams was also started at the Dialogue Meeting in 2015. The study and the other joint symposiums on sediments and on water quality had been proved to be very meaningful for trust building between us. I would like to convey the appreciation and thanks from the Chinese government to Dr. Phan Tuan Phan, CEO of MRC, for his unrelenting efforts in promoting our cooperative relationship to a new height. Just last month in Kunming, Dr. Phan made a very inspiring keynote speech at the first Lancang-Mekong Water Forum. His contribution to the success of the forum is highly regarded by the Chinese host. I wish him all the very best in his future career.”
Mid-Term Review Team
In his initial observations, presented at the Council Meeting, Mr. Jeremy Bird, the Independent Mid-Term Operational and Strategic Review Team Consultant and the Former CEO of the MRC Secretariat, further highlighted CEO Pham’s achievements, by quoting the review report.
“The past few years have seen major steps in the ‘riparianization’ of MRC including agreement on increased funding contributions from Member Countries and the move to a riparian CEO. However, the associated transition of the Secretariat in response to rapid reductions in overall budget has inevitably been disruptive as staff numbers dramatically reduced and new working structures were introduced. It is impressive therefore that so much has been achieved in the first half of the strategic Plan period in terms of outputs produced.”