Agreement Mekong


The agreement allows for cooperation between Cambodia and Vietnam to facilitate the transport by water of goods and passengers from third countries on the territory of the contracting parties. The RCM has evolved since 1995. Some of the “sensitive issues” set aside in the agreement negotiations have been resolved, at least in part, by the implementation of subsequent programmes such as the Water Use Programme (WUP) adopted in 1999 and have committed to implementation by 2005. [21] The Hierarchical Structure of the Commission has been adapted several times, as in July 2000, when the RCN secretariat was restructured. The 2001 work programme is widely seen as a “transition from a project-oriented axis to a priority to improving the management and conservation of existing resources.” [5] On paper, the work programme is a rejection of ambitious development programmes which, in the indicative basin plans of 1970 and 1987 (which do not require traditional dams), and a shift towards a comprehensive and non-programmatic approach. [5] These changes are in part a response to criticism of the failure to carry out a “project at the regional level” or even a priority at the regional level. [22] As part of the agreement, the governments of Cambodia, PDR, Thailand and Vietnam agree to cooperate in all areas of sustainable development, exploitation, water management and conservation and related resources in the Mekong Basin. Cambodia`s readmission was largely a secondary vision that concealed the real problem of the residents: that Thailand`s rapid economic growth relative to its neighbours itself made the modest sovereignty restrictions imposed by the Mekong Agreements undesirable in Bangkok. Thailand and the three other riparian countries (led by Vietnam, the most powerful of the other three states) disagreed on whether Cambodia should be readmitted under the 1957 statute (and, more importantly, the 1975 Joint Declaration), with Thailand preferring to negotiate a whole new framework for its Kong Chi-Moon (and others) project to continue without the Vietnamese veto.

[19] Article 10 of the Joint Declaration, which required unanimous approval of all traditional developments and deviation between basins, proved to be the main stumbling block in Cambodia`s readmission, with Thailand perhaps ready to move away completely from the regime. [5] The conflict escalated in April 1992, when Thailand forced the Committee`s Executive Delegate, Chuck Lankester, to resign and leave the country after serving as secretariat of the March 1992 meeting. [20] This resulted in a series of meetings organized by UNDP (fearing the demise of the regime in which it had invested so much), culminating in the Mekong Basin Sustainable Development Cooperation Agreement signed in April 1995 by Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam and created the Mekong River Commission (MRC). In 2001, the MRC also underwent a major change – at least on paper – when it pledged to play a “learning organization” focused on “the livelihoods of the people of the Mekong region.” [23] In the same year, the annual report highlighted the importance of bottom-up solutions and the “voice of those directly involved.” [24] Similarly, the MRC`s 2001 hydroelectric development strategy explicitly rejected the “promotion of specific projects” in favour of “basin-wide themes”. [25] These changes partly mark the withdrawal of past project failures and the realization that the RCN faces multiple and often more lucrative competitors in the project arena. [26] [27] The U.S. government – which feared that poverty in the basin would contribute to the strength of communist movements – has proven, along with the United States, to be one of the strongest supporters of the international committee.