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Minister Li Guoying attended the Opening Ceremony of the 2nd Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Forum
  2021-12-20 16:42  

On December 7, 2021, the 2nd Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Forum commenced via video link, enshrining the theme of “Working Together to Address Challenges and Promote Common Development”. Mr. Li Guoying, Minister of Water Resources of China attended the opening ceremony and delivered a key speech. Distinguished guests including Mr. Lim Kean Hor, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology of Cambodia, Mr. Bounkham Vorachit, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Laos, Mr. Tin Aung San, Union Minister of Transport and Communications of Myanmar, Dr. Surasri Kidtimonton, Secretary-General, Office of the National Water Resources of Thailand, Dr. Tron Hong Ha, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam, and Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, attended and addressed the opening ceremony. Mr. Tian Xuebin, Vice Minister of Water Resources of China, chaired the opening ceremony.

Minister Li Guoying pointed out that the important speech made by President Xi Jinping and the establishment of the China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership announced at the Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations guided the direction and injected a new impetus for further deepening the Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation. Sharing water from the same river and being close as a family, the six Lancang-Mekong countries are naturally bonded and well positioned to work together and deepen cooperation. Over the past five years, guided by the consensus of the leaders of the six Lancang-Mekong countries, the water ministries have aligned goals and efforts by strengthening policy dialogues and technical exchanges, accelerating sharing of river basin information, improving floods and droughts responses, and promoting the benefits of welfare-improving projects. The efforts have brought the Lancang-Mekong water cooperation onto a fast track and improved the well-being of riparian people.

Minister Li Guoying highlighted that it has become the common mission of the Lancang-Mekong countries to make steady advance in Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation, properly respond to various risks and challenges, and ensure water security for regional sustainable development and shared prosperity. Ministry of Water Resources of China stands ready to adhere to the principle of affinity, sincerity, mutual benefits, and inclusiveness, build friendship and partnership with neighboring countries, and join hands to bring the Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation to a new height through expanding and deepening cooperation.

Minster Li Guoying put forward four proposals on furthering the Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation. First, the six countries shall bear in mind the original aspiration to promote green and sustainable development in the basin. Economic development and ecological protection shall be coordinated, and more water projects shall be carried out to bring real benefits to the people. Second, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation spirit shall be carried forward for building a closer community with a shared future. Regional affairs shall be addressed through consultation and the major concerns of all sides shall be well accommodated to build up the broadest possible consensus. Third, the countries should focus on the common vision and work together to improve the Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation. The role of the ministerial meeting shall be brought into full play, and collaborations shall be enhanced through the joint working group to build an international platform for cooperation and exchange. Fourth, it is imperative to build up a smart basin and a high-quality information and knowledge sharing platform for the Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation. The platform shall be jointly designed and developed with concerted efforts to put in place a smart water system for the Lancang-Mekong basin.

The water ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam spoke highly of China’s efforts to tackle the impact of the epidemic and host the forum, and expressed appreciation for the hydrological information provided by China and the welfare-improving projects jointly developed with China. The five countries recognized that relevant measures adopted by China played a significant role in flood control, disaster reduction and water resources management in the downstream countries. The six countries reviewed the positive results of Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation in the past five years, analyzed the severe challenges of regional water resources, and shared visions and recommendations in deepening Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation. The six countries expressed willingness to further strengthen policy dialogues, technical exchanges and project cooperation to contribute wisdom and strength for the sustainable social and economic development in the region.

Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, emphasized that the Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation set a good example for regional water resources cooperation, and expected the six Lancang-Mekong countries to make further contributions to achieving water related goals in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The 2nd Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Forum aims at implementing consensus reached at the 3rd Leaders’ Meeting of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, and is one of the celebration activities of the 5th anniversary of the launch of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation. The two-day forum centered on six sessions, namely water resources conservation and green development, integrated water resources management and climate change adaptation, water conservancy and livelihood improvement in rural areas, sustainable hydropower development and energy security, transboundary river cooperation and information sharing, and water governance in the Lancang-Mekong countries and youth mission. The Beijing Recommendations of the 2nd Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Forum was unveiled at the closing ceremony.