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Lao People's Democratic Republic

International water issues

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) came into existence on 5 April 1995 on agreement between the governments of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Thailand and Viet Nam. These four countries signed the “Agreement on the cooperation for the sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin” and agreed on joint management of their shared water resources and development of the economic potential of the river. The MRC has been built on a foundation of nearly 50 years of knowledge and experience in the region, starting in 1957 as the United Nations-founded Mekong Committee. In 1996, China and Myanmar became Dialogue Partners of the MRC and the countries now work together within a cooperation framework.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank have collaborated since 2004 on the preparation of the Mekong Water Resources Assistance Strategy (MWRAS), which was developed after analytical work and strategic workshops were carried out in 2004 and early 2005 with the national governments of the four countries. The MWRAS preparation work confirmed that there is a need for extensive capacity-building in all aspects of integrated water resources management (IWRM) in the region to support the further investments required in water management (ADB, 2007).


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