MI’s 20th Anniversary
20th Anniversary Celebrations of MI: Looking back in order to move forward
In 2016, MI celebrated 20 years of dedicated service to the people of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
On the evening of August 28th , the 20th anniversary celebration event was held – exactly 20 years to the day since MI was founded. The special night was a showcase of diversity and cooperation where the cultures of the six GMS countries that own and support MI – Cambodia, P.R. China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam and Thailand – were well portrayed in the clothing, food, performances, and most importantly, the people. In addition to the diverse staff, the event was well attended by a variety of stakeholders – academics, development partners, and government authorities, among others.
All of the guests have been involved in MI’s journey, providing their effort and support and saw it develop into a well-recognized IGO in the subregion. This journey was traced through the “historical walk” that commenced the celebrations, undertaken by the two key persons involved with the formation of MI – Rt. Hon. James Bolger, the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Dr. Vanchai Vatanasapt, the Founder of MI. Both emphasized in their speeches that the development of the people of the GMS requires everyone’s participation.
Similarly, building adequate capacity to address the developmental challenges of the GMS requires sharing experiences and learning from one another and of course celebrating together – which is what the events of August 28th were all about. Everyone gathered together for the common purpose of looking back on the performance of the institute over the past two decades and used the experience to reflect how our current mission and strategies need to evolve to address the demands of our core constituents in the context of recent developments in the sub-region. Dr. Jean Pierre Verbiest, an honorary advisor to MI Council declared that he is confident MI will be a unique organization within the subregion going forward.
The distinguished guests present, all of them, felt they have a great role to play in supporting MI into the future in both their individual and institutional capacities. The academic institutions for example, represented by Dr. Kittichai Triratanasirichai of Khon Kaen University and Dr. Le Van Thuyet of Hue University, Vietnam, reiterated their support for training of the next generation of researchers and policy-makers within their respective institutions and providing resources and expertise to fill current gaps in the MI training portfolio.
It was clear that everyone present was on board with MI’s vision for the future, as emphasized by both the chairman of MI’s Steering Committee and Council respectively, Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee and Mr. Tun Tun Naing.