The Mekong Institute (MI) Council and Steering Committee held its second governance meetings for 2009 on 14 December 2009 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar hosted by the Government of the Union of Myanmar. 

The Meetings received reports on MI operations and performance for 2009 as well as deliberated and gave its approval for the MI 2010 Plan of Action and Budget, MI Transformation Plan into an inter governmental organization (IGO) and the MI Strategic Planning Framework for 2011-2015. 

According to Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, Steering Committee Chairman , MI is moving in the right direction with well managed programs. He positively noted that MI now has a more diversified funding base especially with financial contributions received from GMS member governments. Displaying a healthy financial performance in 2009, MI will start 2010 in its new status as an IGO on good financial standing. 

The MI Council and Steering Committee members lauded MI’s achievements and affirmed the continuing support of the GMS governments to MI. They encouraged the staff to be more attuned to HRD needs in the region and strengthen efforts to promote regional cooperation. 

In this light, the Meeting approved the MI Strategic Planning Framework and the national consultation processes towards developing MI’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2015. 

Dr. Tej Bunnag, Honorary Advisor to MI Council, was very pleased to note in his closing speech that, having witnessed the growth of MI in 13 years, the Institute has now reached a new stage of development with the signing of the Royal Decree underpinning the transformation of MI into an inter governmental organization. 

He expressed confidence that MI will rise to the challenges in an exciting and dynamic GMS environment with the strong support and cooperation from the MI member countries. 

Accepting the gracious invitation of current MI Chair, Mr. Gu Zhiaoxi, Vice Governor of Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China, the MI Council agreed to hold its next meeting in Kunming, Yunnan, PR China in July 2010.

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