From 1-7 April 2023, in order to get acquainted with the activities and organizational structure of the Mekong River Basin Commission, a study tour to Laos was organized for members of the Working Group to improve the organizational structure and legal framework of IFAS and representatives of structural divisions of IFAS.
The trip was organized by the Executive Committee of IFAS with the financial support of the World Bank CAWEP.The Mekong River Basin Commission (MRC) is a river basin organization that draws on over fifty years of experience in the region. The organization has its roots in the Mekong River Committee, established by the United Nations in 1957.
The Mekong Basin includes Cambodia, the People’s Democratic Republic of Lao, Thailand, and Vietnam. The MRC in its current form was formed in April 1995, with the signing by these countries of the Agreement on Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin.
The study tour to the Mekong River Basin Commission provided an opportunity for the members of the Working Group to get acquainted with the organizational structure of the MRC, the rules for monitoring and planning methods for the development of the Mekong River basin, the role of the People’s Republic of China and the Union of Myanmar in the MRC as dialogue partners, and also visit the Nam Ngum dam.
The participants also received the necessary knowledge and information on cross-border cooperation between the member countries of the Commission and got informed about the history and experience of the MRC, which may be useful for discussion and can contribute to reaching an agreement among the members of the Working Group at stages 3 and 4 to improve the organizational structure and legal framework of IFAS.
As part of the trip, on 2 and 3 April representatives of the Executive Committee of IFAS and its sub-divisions and members of the Working Group also took part in the International Conference of the 4th Summit of the Mekong River Basin Commission, dedicated to innovation and cooperation for water security and sustainability of the Mekong.