H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand and entourage, attended the 3rd Lower Mekong Basin Top Leaders Conference on April 5, 2018, in Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia. The conference gathered attendees from various countries. There were three representatives from the Mekong River Commission from the Kingdom of Cambodia, Lao PDR, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, representatives from the partner countries (the People's Republic of China and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar), and the development partners.
Before the beginning of the conference, H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha had a bilateral conference with H.E. Hun Sen, Prime Minister, the Kingdom of Cambodia. One of the most important issues discussed in the conference is both parties agree to discuss jointly to increase trade cooperation, investment, an opening of crossing points between the two countries, and railway lines.
After that, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and entourage participated in the 3rd Lower Mekong Basin Top Leaders Conference. Prime Minister Hun Sen gave the conference's opening speech appreciating the success and progress of the Mekong River Commission due to the joint efforts of country members. Besides, Prime Minister Hun Sen proposed ideas about cooperation development of the Commission including three aspects. First, it is a cooperation policy for Mekong river development by emphasizing the importance of cooperation. In particular, the management of natural disasters that cause loss and damage to life and property, climate change preparedness, and inducing King Bhumibol’s theory on water management establish to develop the country’s policy. Second, it is making an effort to push forward the Mekong River to become the river of wealth and sustainability by adhering to the principles of sustainable development along with maintaining the balance of ecology and the way of life of the community, and integration of connections among different collaboration frameworks in the Mekong region. Third, it is a development of the Mekong River Commission should focus on the results of education and knowledge by changing them into a concrete action plan.
In this regard, the Prime Minister from the member countries jointly endorsed the Siem Reap Declaration to show the common position of the leaders in the Mekong River Basin to implement the agreement on sustainable development cooperation in the Mekong River Basin (B.E. 2538). Moreover, the idea aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: SDGs and includes collaboration with countries in the Mekong Basin, for example, the collaboration between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Also, the expanded collaboration shall cover strengthening of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and other regional cooperation frameworks. The 4th Lower Mekong Basin Top Leaders Conference in the next four years will be held in Lao PDR, a host country in organizing the conference.