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Thai Agreement on the cooperation f

Subject: Thai Agreement on the cooperation for the Mekong River Basin.

                         Press Release

No. 257/2538                          Information Department
Dated 5 April 1995                    Ministry of Foreign Affairs

                  H.E. DR. KRASAE CHANAWONGSE
                   OF THE MEKONG RIVER BASIN
                      CHIANG RAI, THAILAND
                          5 APRIL 1995


Mr. Prime Minister,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

	It is an honour and privilege to be here at the signing ceremony
of the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the
Mekong River Basin.  I should like to extend a warm welcome to the
distinguished delegates from the Lao PDR, Camb odia and Vietnam, and to
the representatives of China, Myanmar, the UNDP and the donor countries,
as well as other observers, who are here to witness the opening of a new
era of cooperation among the Mekong riparian countries. Excellencies,

	This is indeed a historic occasion.  With the signing of this
agreement, we open a new horizon of cooperation in this sub-region. 
Following three years of negotiations and consultations in the spirit of
friendship and mutual accomodation, we have be fore us a new framework for
cooperation to pursue sustainable development of the Mekong. 

	This agreement is a balanced framework which takes into account
the key interests and emerging needs of all signatory countries.  It
touches upon almost all aspects of the lives of millions of people who
live along the Mekong and strengthens people-t o-people ties.  Most
important of all, this agreement underscores the cardinal principle of
reasonable and equitable uses of water.  It is indeed a firm and practical
foundation for mutually beneficial cooperation amongst the parties.

	With this new regime governing the use of the Mekong, we can look
forward to pursuing joint development projects for the benefit of all the
parties to the agreement.  I should like to mention just a few of the many
cooperative ventures that can serve t o accelerate the process of
long-term sustainable development in this sub-region.  The development of
a basin-wide land and water transportation system would provide the vital
infrastructure for economic growth and development to continue.  The
promotio n of tourism at the sub-regional level would likewise contribute
to this progress.  


	What we are witnessing today is the rediscovery of the Mekong
family of nations committed to building peace, progress and prosperity in
our part of the world.  As we move forward together, however, we must
realize that the lower and upper Mekong basin s are inseparable for they
form an integral eco-system.  The Mekong family in its entirety consists
of all countries which share the Mekong River.  The successful long-term
sustainable development of our sub-region, thus, requires the
participation of al l Mekong riparian states.  I therefore hope that we
shall be able to welcome China and Myanmar in our common endeavours in the
near future. 

	I should like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation
to the United Nations Development Programme for its unwavering support
throughout the negotiation process and contribution towards this
agreement.  My thanks also go to the donor countrie s for their assistance
throughout the years.  I trust that we can continue to count on the
continued support of the UNDP, the donor countries and the international
community in the years ahead. Excellencies,

	It is my conviction that the Mekong River will become a living
symbol of friendship, trust and cooperation transcending national
boundaries, from the Himalayas to the Mekong Delta.  Let us all join hands
in making the Mekong a river for peace and develo pment which binds all
peoples in this sub-region towards a common future of prosperity and

	Thank you.