Welcome Speech by
Dr Olivier Cogels
Chief Executive Officer,
Mekong River Commission
Mekong River Commission Secretariat
Vientiane, Lao PDR
27 August 2004
H.E. Mr Bounnhang Vorichith, Prime Minister of Lao Peoples
H.E. Mr Sompong Mongkhonvilay, MRC Council Chairman for 2004 - 2005
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my pleasure, in my capacity as Chief Executive Officer of the Mekong River Commission, to welcome you to the official inauguration of the MRC Secretariat building.
Today marks the conclusion of the MRC Secretariat’s successful relocation from Phnom Penh in Cambodia to Vientiane, Lao PDR.
I would like to thank you all for your attendance. Collectively you represent our four member countries, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam, our many supporters, friends and partners, and our international donor community.
We are all here because we believe in the role the Mekong River Commission can play in achieving long term sustainable development of the Mekong River.
Whilst the Mekong River is what binds the MRC countries together, it is this wonderful building which will bind together what I believe to be a world class administrative and technical team. It provides the venue for strategic planning, knowledge development and information exchange at a basin level.
Our cultural and technical diversity is unique. In such a wonderful facility as this we are perfectly placed to continue implementation of our challenging programme and to continue to foster the development of the professional expertise of the region.
I would like to recognize the generous support of the Government of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic for provision of this purpose built building, and for the generosity you have provided to us, both prior to and upon arrival here in Vientiane. We look forward to continued strengthening of that relationship.
Thanks must also be extended to the Governments of Thailand and Viet Nam, Japan and Korea for their provision of essential equipment and funds to support completion of the building.
Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
thank you once again for your attendance here today and participation
in this very special occasion.