In the context Vietnam’s chairing of the MRC Council in 2018, the visit made by PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the high-ranking delegation aims to affirm the interest and commitment of Vietnam for cooperation within the framework of the MRC, contributing to enhancing the MRC's role and the solidarity and cooperation among member countries for common interests.
The MRC Summit has been held every four years since 2010. This year’s conference is hosted by Cambodia. Themed “Joint Efforts and Partnership towards Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Mekong”, the conference will create the opportunity for countries to review the operation of the MRC over the past four years and work to realise sustainable development goals.
The MRC is an inter-governmental organisation established on the basis of the 1995 Mekong Agreement, consisting of the four member countries of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The objective of the MRC is to promote cooperation among member countries in the use, sustainable development and protection of water and related resources in the Mekong River. After more than 20 years, the MRC has achieved many positive results which contribute to regional cooperation, such as the development of water use regulations, environmental management, fisheries, navigation links, and expanding cooperation with partners in and outside the region.
MRC is currently implementing its Strategic Plan and the 5-year planning cycle (2016-2020) with seven major objectives and more than 190 activities with a total estimated cost of US$60 million. The purpose of this plan is to implement the strategic priorities of the Mekong River basin development strategy based on integrated water resources management and continue the transfer of key river basin management functions to the countries and activities of the MRC Secretariat. Since the second MRC Summit in Ho Chi Minh City in April, 2014, the MRC has continued to play a unique role in building the legal framework and specific technical regulations and binding obligations of member countries in the exploitation, protection, and sustainable management of water resources in the Mekong River.
Vietnam has actively participated in the MRC since its establishment and has significantly contributed to developing its contents and cooperation fields. Within the framework of the MRC, Vietnam coordinated with other member countries to issue the first ever MRC Joint Committee's Official Prior Consultation for the Pak Beng Hydropower Project. In 2014, Vietnam hosted the second MRC Summit with the theme of “Water, Energy and Food Security in the context of climate change for the Mekong River Basin”. In addition to the MRC, Vietnam is also actively promoting the sustainable development of the Mekong River through participation in water resources cooperation at regional and international organisations such as the World Water Forum (WWF), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and ASEAN, among others.
In 2015, Vietnam held a discussion on water security in the framework of the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU – 132) and the sixth ASEM Seminar on Water Resources Management and Sustainable Development, themed “Integrated water resources management for sustainable development”. In addition, the country is also actively participating in and promoting the protection and sustainable use of water resources in such mechanisms as the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), and the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC).
The attendance at the third MRC Summit of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the high-ranking delegation of Vietnam affirms the interests and commitments of Vietnam to its cooperation within the framework of the MRC, which helps to enhance the MRC's role, and the solidarity and cooperation among member countries, while affirming Vietnam's efforts and contributions to the effective use of and sustainable management and development of the Mekong River for the common interest of people living in the Mekong River in general and in the Mekong Delta in particular.