Weekly Diplomacy Mission for Consultation Meeting with the Embassies and International Agencies in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

On 03rd – 06thApril 2017, the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) and the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia (RCC) co-organizeda consultation meeting between local NGOs/CSOs, embassies and international agencies at a national level in Phnom Penh. The aim of the meeting was to discuss issues surrounding Mekong Water Governance and to inform aboutthe large-scale impacts of hydropower dam development projects on the Mekong Mainstream and its tributaries. It was a great opportunity for NGOF and RCC’s membersto work towards their common goals and achievethe best of results related to the weekly diplomacymissionand the consultation meeting with the embassies and international agencies in Phnom Penh.

Six ambassadors’ representatives (from Australia, Sweden, China, US and the European Union) and oneinternational agency (The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) attended the meeting. As such, the meeting produced a lot of inputs/outcomes for NGOF and RCC’s members to improve their relationship and future collaborationwith all these embassies and international agenciesforthe benefit of theMekong People.

Allembassy representatives in Cambodia are warmly welcomedto join in NGOF and RCC’s work to protect the environment, biodiversity and the Mekong water resources in order to ensure the sustainable livelihood of the Mekong People.There is much to be gained from such cooperation, as it facilitates the distribution of prior knowledge of and experience with water governance. For instance, China has successfully addressed issues of social development and well-being, economy and environment. In fact, China has much experience with hydropower development projects, e.g. in the Yang Se River region and the Yellow River, as well as environmental study, biodiversity conservation and environmental impact assessment throughout sub-national and regional levels.

It would be very much appreciated, if the embassies of Australia, US and the European Union were to begin cooperation and collaboration with NGOF and RCC’s members as soon as possible in order to share information and other experiences and improve local knowledge of the right way to promote community livelihoods throughout the Mekong Region. Therefore, in the next action plan for NGOF and RCC’s members, we have proposed and agreed to develop proposal letters to request support from all embassies and international agencies to facilitate official exposure visits and/or exchange learning and experience,based on large-scale hydropower development and safeguard policies,between the people of the Mekong Region and the people of the European Union.