The Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) is an academic and research institute which is under the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Lao PDR, established in 1993. Basically, IFA conducts strategic studies research on current regional and international issues so as to provide recommendations on foreign policies and international relations to the Lao government; and offers a wide range of professional development programs to Lao government officials in the fields of foreign affairs. Moreover, as a member of several regional and global think tanks, IFA has played a significant role to further promote and enhance relations, cooperation, solidarity, understanding and peace in the regional and international networks and communities. Besides, IFA has also been seeking for international assistance in order to strengthening capacities and qualities of IFA and MoFA as well as the line offices of Laos at large.
In order to implement the agreement of leaders of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation’s (LMC) members on creating GCMS center in each member countries, IFA as a member of LMC think tanks, had been approved to establish the Global Center for Mekong Studies of Laos (GCMS-Laos). The GCMS Laos Center was established under IFA in December 2017 and formally launched in Vientiane on June 6, 2018. Amb. Thieng BOUPHA, Director General of IFA, and Mrs. Kaymany ORABOUNE, Deputy Director General of IFA, have been designated as the Director and the Coordinator of the Laos Center, respectively.
Beside this, IFA established a broad-based member committee of GCMS-Laos and other sub-committees, including advisors, secretariat and research subcommittees, which consist of IFA staff members, relevant scholars, researchers and experts from different research institutes, universities and line-ministries. The team will not only involve the GCMS-Laos activities, but also supervise a wide range of issues under the GCMS framework.