GCMS in Brief
The Global Center for Mekong Studies (GCMS) was launched in Phnom Penh on 28th of September, in response to the Chinese initiative to establish GCMS, which was received warmly by relevant countries at the 2nd Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Foreign Ministers’ meeting in November 2016.
The GCMS consists of six national centers, set respectively in Cambodia Institute of Cooperation and Peace (CICP), China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), Institute of Foreign Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR (IFA of MFA, LAO), Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies (MISIS), Devawongse Varopakarn Institute of Foreign Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kingdom of Thailand (DVIFA) and Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV).
The GCMS is envisioned to be a network of Lancang-Mekong think tanks for academic exchange and cooperation aimed to provide intellectual support to LMC. Each national center of GCMS is supposed to serve as the focal point/center to coordinate participation of other interested institutes and facilitate communication between government and academic circle in its country.
Each GCMS national center is responsible for nominating a coordinator at a proper ranking to sit on the GCMS coordinators’ meeting (GCM). GCM will be convened by co-chairs, which will comprise, as customary practice, one from the China Center of GCMS and the other from the remaining five GCMS members in rotation every two year in alphabetical order of the country name and on voluntary basis. GCMS coordinators’ meeting will serve as the sole body for decision-making, and decisions shall be made by consensus.
The GCMS will hold Think Tank Forum annually. In addition to coordinators, other related experts or government representatives can be invited. Proposals from the dialogue shall be submitted to the annual foreign ministers’ meeting for consideration. GCMS could consider other related activities good for LMC when agreed upon and where resources are available.
The GCMS shall pursue an open and inclusive approach for its activities, and would also actively promote global participation and partnership with other competent regional and international institutes and organizations on LMC issues.