The MRC is an international, country-driven river basin organisation that provides the institutional framework to promote regional cooperation in order to implement the 1995 Agreement between the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. The MRC serves its member states by supporting decisions and promoting action on sustainable development and poverty alleviation as a contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals. The MRC supports the Mekong Programme, a Regional Cooperation Programme for the Sustainable Development of Water and Related Resources in the Mekong Basin owned by its member countries. The MRC Secretariat, which is based in Vientiane, Lao PDR, provides technical and administrative services to the MRC Council and Joint Committee.
The MRC has been active in discussions on climate change issues in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) with partners such as the SEA START RC, IWMI and SEI since the beginning of 2000. The new MRC Climate Change Initiative, by itself a cross cutting program touching on almost every aspect of water management will include among others institutional, planning, environmental and socio-economic issues, as well as coping strategies. Therefore, the initiative will involve most, if not all, of the MRC programmes. As such, it would be well placed within the Environment Programme, which is the cross-cutting MRC programme closest linked to the thematic areas of the climate change.