Ha Long City, Vietnam, 14 Dec 2018
Twenty-Fifth Meeting of the MRC Council
SESSION 2: Joint Meeting with the Twenty-Third
Development Partner Consultative Group
Mekong River Commission
28 November 2018
Ha Long City, Viet Nam
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam
Vice Chairperson of the Viet Nam National Mekong Committee
Alternate Member of the MRC Council for Viet Nam
Head of Delegation for Viet Nam
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam
Chairperson of the Viet Nam National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Viet Nam
Chairperson of the MRC Council for 2018
Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology of Cambodia
Chairperson of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Cambodia
Head of Delegation for Cambodia
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Lao PDR
Chairperson of the Lao National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for Lao PDR
Head of Delegation for Lao PDR
Charge d' Affaires,
Royal Thai Embassy in Hanoi
Head of Delegation for Thailand
Vice Chairman of People’s Committee for Quang Ninh Province
It is my great pleasure to join H.E. Mr. Chairperson to welcome you all to beautiful Ha Long City. I am very pleased to see in this room distinguished representatives of the Dialogue and Development Partners and guests from international and regional organizations. Your presence at this annual consultative event once again confirms your deep concerns and support to our efforts to pursue the goals of sustainable development in the Mekong River Basin.
As you are well aware this year Mekong cooperation has continued to face great challenges with climate change becoming increasingly evident, and with rapid economic development leading to an increased demand of water. However, with our great solidarity and strong determination, the Mekong River Commission has achieved many impressive results, as highlighted in the Statement of Mr. Chairperson and those of other Heads of Delegations.
Amongst the vital achievements in 2018, I would wish to highlight the successful organization of the Third MRC Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The Siem Reap Declaration adopted at the Summit once again re-affirmed the highest political commitment of Member Countries to effectively implement the 1995 Mekong Agreement and further strengthen Mekong cooperation in addressing sustainable development in the Basin.
In addition to the success of the Third MRC Summit, the MRC is still firmly on track to meet all objectives of the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 with very encouraging results.
I am also pleased to note that MRC cooperation has never been more coherent to Member activities, and a more proactive relationship with the donor community will help ensure further support for successful implementation of the MRC Strategic Plan.
Let me take this opportunity to draw your kind attention to the Mekong Delta. Located in the most downstream part of the Mekong River Basin it is an area of vital importance not only for food security in Viet Nam but also for the region. However the Mekong Delta increasingly suffers from serious impacts of water-related development activities in the basin and unpredictable effects of faster than expected climate change, such as saline instrusion, river bank and river bed erosion and land subsidence. If these threats are not properly addressed, our endeavor toward sustainable development and the livelihoods of millions of people living in the area will be severely affected.
In order to cope with these urgent challenges, the Government of Viet Nam has recently adopted a Resolution on Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Development of the Mekong Delta of Viet Nam that provides numerous comprehensive solutions. In this regard, I would like to urge Member Countries and the MRC Development Partners to explore all ways and means for assisting us in our endeavor to achieve the objectives of the Resolution.
On behalf of the Viet Nam National Mekong Committee, I propose the following top priority actions to implement the Siem Reap Declaration in the year to come:
Firstly, further strengthen the existing monitoring network, including newly- established joint environmental monitoring on the impacts of mainstream hydropower projects and sharing environment data and information with the Member Countries.
Secondly, actively disseminate and integrate MRC results, including those of the Council Study on sustainable management and development of the Mekong river basin, related basin-wide strategies and action plans into national strategies and action plans of Member Countries.
Thirdly, constantly expand the linkages with Dialogue Partners and Development Partners, regional cooperation initiatives and regional communities in order to mobilize further support for successful implementation of the Strategic Plan for 2016-2020.
Together with other Council Members, by recording our most sincere appreciation to the Development Partners for their supports to our efforts, I also wish to emphasize that though we are ambitious in endeavouring to target full ownership status by 2030, the assistance and support from MRC donor community remains extremely necessary and essential. I would therefore like to reiterate our highest commitment to utilize the resources given by the Development Partners in the most effective and efficient manner in the years to come.
We are also, with much appreciation and satisfaction, expecting more fruitful and expansive cooperation with the MRC’s Dialogue Partners, not only in this dialogue channel but also in other regional cooperation initiatives, such as the Mekong - Lancang Cooperation.
Finally, I wish to record my appreciation to the excellent assistance of the MRC Secretariat in making this Council Meeting and related events possible.
As the end 2018 approaches, I would wish you all, Your Excellencies Ministers, distinguished Delegates, representatives and all participants merry year- end holidays and good health.
I also wish wishes the Meeting every success.
Thank you for your attention.