Group photo of water ministers from six Lancang-Mekong countries
On December 17, 2019, Ministerial Meeting of Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation (LMWC) commenced in Beijing, China. H.E. E Jingping, Minister of Water Resources, the People’s Republic of China, presided over the meeting and delivered a keynote speech. H.E. Bun Hean, State Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, the Kingdom of Cambodia, H.E. Sommad Pholsena, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, H.E. Win Khant, Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, H.E. Tewan Liptapallop, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Kingdom of Thailand, and H.E. Le Cong Thanh, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, attended the meeting and made keynote speeches.
Minister E Jingping pointed out that this meeting is an essential measure to practice the consensuses reached at two meetings among the state leaders on Mekong-Lancang cooperation, and an important platform for six countries to enhance policy dialogue, information exchange and technical cooperation in the field of water resources. The theme of the meeting – Enhancing Water Partnership for Sustainable Development” – reflects the good wishes of China and the Mekong countries to build a community of shared future for the Lancang-Mekong countries, and shows the common determination of the six countries to realize water-related goals of UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with every endeavor.
Minister E stressed that by adhering to the concept of development-prioritized, equal consultation, pragmatism and efficiency, and openness and inclusiveness, LMWC shall reinforce the establishment of cooperation mechanism, push forward rational development and utilization, create a high-level information platform, and advance joint consultation, common construction and sharing, so as to build up LMWC as a “flagship brand” of Lancang-Mekong cooperation. Minister E raised four points to deepen LMWC. First, LMWC shall fully respect the right of six countries for rational development and utilization of water resources. Second, LMWC shall take major concerns of each other into full consideration. Third, win-win results of six countries can only be achieved through joint cooperation in Lancang-Mekong Basin. Fourth, LMWC should be conducted by the Mekong-Lancang countries themselves based on discussions.
Minister E put forward three aspirations to carry out the outcomes of this meeting. First, deeply research the philosophy of LMWC, and reach cooperation consensus. Second, define major principles for development and utilization of water and hydropower resources in the Lancang-Mekong Basin, and clarify responsibilities and rights of concerned countries. Third, strengthen the publicity of cooperative consensuses of LMWC, to create public support and sound atmosphere for LMWC.
Ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam spoke highly of the great significance of the meeting, undertook in-depth experience exchange on water governance, reviewed cooperation outcomes, and put forward aspirations and suggestions on deepening LMWC. All countries expressed the willingness to strengthen consultation and dialogue, experience exchange and project coordination, enhance mutual benefit and trust, promote the implementation of the outcome of this ministerial meeting, and further upgrade the level of LMWC.
The meeting heard the work report of the Joint Working Group on LMWC, unveiled the Joint Statement of the Ministerial Meeting on LMWC and the Proposed List of the Programs on LMWC, and witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Center and the Secretariat of the Mekong River Commission.
More than 60 representatives from water departments and ministries of foreign affairs of six countries, and Secretariat of the Mekong River Commission attended the meeting.