Governance is the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country's affairs at all levels. Governance should involve three key stakeholders – the state, the civil society and the private sector – as equally represented and valued partners in governing the affairs of a country. Development experiences made across the world have proven that governance is a cornerstone for sustainable development and poverty reduction.
As Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Cambodia are in the process of transitioning into market-oriented economies, these nations face the challenges of regional and global integration. Strong national governance sectors are a prerequisite to overcome these challenges, and therefore the Swiss Cooperation provides support for governance reforms. The strategic principles of democracy, gender equality, and human rights guide the Governance programming in the Mekong Region.