The Mekong River cooperation has seen many favourable factors in the 2011-2012 period, according to a conference held by the Vietnam National Mekong Committee (VNMC) in Ho Chi Minh City on April 27.
According to the VNMC, 2011-2012 is the first period to realise the Joint Declaration of the first Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit held in Hua Hin on April 5, 2010. This was also the beginning of the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan.
With the leading role of the MRC, Vietnam has had opportunities to put forth initiatives and increase its contributions on the hot issues of Mekong cooperation.
In this period, foreign relations in the river basin have been continuously consolidated and expanded, especially in the regional cooperation frameworks of ASEAN, Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), Mekong-Japan and Mekong-US.
In addition, the world aid community and organisations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have supported development assistance, resource management and climate change adaptation activities through Mekong cooperation.
However, this cooperation has also faced many great challenges, especially the rapidly increasing use of water resources in the basin and the construction of hydropower plants on the river.
In 2013, the VNMC will strive to fulfil its role as Chairman of the MRC Joint Committee for the 2011-2012 tenure and attend a Mekong forum in May 2012 and the 19 th session of the MRC Council to be held in Laos later this year.
The committee will also strengthen cooperation with upstream countries in implementing the MRC study on the impacts of hydropower plants on the main stream of the Mekong River.-VNA