At the end of each year, the Mekong Institute (MI) holds its second round of Governing Board Meetings in one of six Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries. This year, the meetings, which include Steering Committee and Council Meetings, were held on December 9-10 respectively at a beautiful location by the Mekong River in Pakse (Champasack Province of Laos). The Steering Committee meeting, chaired by Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, MI Steering Committee Chairman, reviewed MI activities, programs and proposed projects, and prepared a report for consideration by the Council Meeting. The Council Meeting was chaired by Mr. Virasac Somphong, Deputy Director General of Department of Economic Affairs, Lao PDR.
According to Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, the Steering Committee had the largest agenda ever discussed, as besides the review of MI activities, it had to discuss and endorse the appointment of the new director and acting director for MI, the selection of the external auditor, as well as the renovation of MI building. The Council Members reviewed the MI operations and performance over the past year, endorsed the MI operational and budget plans for 2014, the proposal for reviewing the current MI strategic plan and formulation of its strategic plan 2016-2020, and a new compensation scheme and salary adjustments.
The MI Council and Steering Committee members expressed their appreciation to MI for its valuable contribution to human resource development and capacity building in the GMS region. They also acknowledged with satisfaction that many development partners were interested in working with MI for Mekong cooperation and integration. They affirmed the GMS governments' strong support for the institute. The Chairman of the Council, Mr. Virasack, recognized that MI's success came from the hard work of the Secretariat and the steadfast support and cooperation from all six GMS countries.
The Council agreed to hold the next Governing Board Meetings at the end of July 2014, at Khon Kaen, Thailand.