The third Summit, which focused on the theme ‘Enhancing Joint Efforts and Partnerships towards Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Mekong River Basin‘, was hosted by the Kingdom of Cambodia and held on 5 April 2018 following a preparatory Ministerial Meeting on 4 April and an International Conference of stakeholders on 2-3 April 2018.
The 3rd MRC Summit objectives were to:
- Reaffirm highest political commitment to the 1995 Mekong Agreement and the mandate of MRC as a unique treaty-based inter-governmental river basin organisation for Mekong cooperation;
- Recognise the progress, contribution and achievements of MRC in fostering cooperation and managing transboundary issues;
- Recognise the important role that development and management of water and related resources play in the Mekong River Basin for the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and provide directions for enhancing joint efforts and partnerships for achieving the SDGs by the Mekong countries, and significant priorities and results for the MRC to achieve in the remainder of the Strategic Plan period and beyond.
The 3rd MRC International Conference provided an opportunity for the MRC and stakeholders from the riparian countries, NGOs, academia, regional/international organisations, the private sector, and other river basin organisations to exchange perspectives, best practices and cutting-edge ideas. Leading towards the Summit, the International Conference addressed opportunities and challenges of the Mekong basin to enhance joint efforts and partnerships towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the region. Plenary keynotes and discussions on global developments, implications and opportunities for the Mekong framed the floor for more in-depth exchanges during the parallel sessions on how to: 1) Optimize regional benefits and adverse impacts, 2) Provide water security in the face of climate change, flood and drought, 3) Enhance joint efforts with multiple stakeholder engagement and support, and 4) Strengthen Mekong cooperation and partnerships between MRC and Mekong related regional mechanisms and frameworks.