The four-country mekong-river-commission (MRC) has opened its new headquarters on a bank of the Mekong river in the southern outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Presiding over the opening, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the development of the Mekong river was vital for Cambodia and for tens of millions of people living along its banks. Hun Sen said the sustainable development of the Mekong river, for hydroelectricity, transportation and fisheries is not only the aim of the MRC, but is also a main policy of the Cambodian government.

The Mekong River Commission, which includes representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, works to promote sustainable development of water and resources in the river’s lower basin.

The chairman of the commission, Vietnam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Le Huy Ngo, said its long-term aim was ‘an economically prosperous, socially just and environmentally sound Mekong river basin’. Under an agreement signed last year Cambodia will share responsibility for hosting the headquarters with Laos. The headquarters will alternate between Vientiane and Phnom Penh every five years.