Developed by Khmer Focus
Meeting between the Mekong River Commission and the US Mississippi River Commission (December 03, 2021)

Phnom Penh: HE Watt  Botkosal, Deputy Secretary-General (CNMC) accompanied by Mr. Ou Sophana, Director of Administration and Finance Department, Mr. Chheang Hong, Director of Information and Knowledge Management Department and Mr. Sous Bunthan, Director of the Department of Planning and International Cooperation of the Secretariat of CNMC attended a Meeting between the Mekong River Commission and the US Mississippi River Commission (MiRC) through an Video Conference Zoom facilitated by the Mekong River Commission Secretariat from Vientiane, Lao PDR.  The Meeting was co-chaired by HE Dr. An Pich Hatda, MRCS CEO and General Diana M. Holland, The President of the Mississippi River Commission, coordinated by Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun, Coordinating Officer, Chief Strategic Partnership of the MRC Secretariat, and representatives of member countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam), officers from the MRC Secretariat, officers representing the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Department of State.

The Meeting appreciated the efforts of both sides and recalled the spirit of implementing the MoU over the past 10 years, focusing on 11 areas related to data sharing, environmental information, policy and governance, and Involvement of stakeholders in the process of sustainable management and development of water resources and river basins. The Meeting agreed to renew the Memorandum of Understanding between the Mekong River Commission and the Mississippi Commission for the next five years to strengthen cooperation and partnership to promote the use of water resources management and development policies, effectiveness in the Mekong region, taking into account public safety and community welfare.

During the discussion, representatives of member countries shared their views and comments. For Cambodia, H.E Watt Botkosal highly appreciated the achievements of the implementation of the MOU for the past 10 years, which provided good lessons and experiences through the delegation visit between the two commissions, highly appreciated and thanked the United States for technical assistance and funding to the MRC, including the development of the Shared Vision Planning online tool, emphasized the 11 areas of cooperation and hoped to implement the MOU over the next five years will be more effective and achieving greater achievements, proposed implementation not only at the regional level but also at the national and local levels, supporting sustainable development adapted to the climate, supported the suggestion that the Mekong Delta is very important Cambodia and Vietnam are facing significant challenges in the upper development, including the effects of climate change, and have requested assistance from the United States on Dai Fisheries Monitoring and Sustainable Fisheries resources in the Mekong and Tonle Sap Lake by noting that the experience in the United States can apply best practices and experience as well in data sharing in transboundary water cooperation.