Thailand to chair G77, Prime Minister at UN
The G77 group of nations unanimously chose Thailand as chair country for its 2016-17 Session during a vote at United Nations headquarters in New York City last week, where Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also spoke on issues of sustainable development ahead of his attendance at the 70th session of the General Assembly.
The G-77 is the largest organization of developing countries in the U.N. It serves as a platform to build economic cooperation and development among and between developing countries, and the G-77 has been demanding a larger role in formulating global policy in fighting poverty and promoting sustainable development.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Prayut joined the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Summit on ending poverty and hunger. The U.N. is poised to pass Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at ending global poverty in 15 years. They will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expired this year.
The Prime Minister praised the new goals, adding that aside form ending poverty they must work to reduce inequality. “This is a major challenge for sustainable development. And all countries, large and small, must rise to the occasion to carry on the unfinished business of the MDGs,” he said.
During his address, the Prime Minister provided an overview of Thailand’s approach to sustainable development, including details on the Sufficiency Theory of constitutional monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which is designed to build resilience at the household, community and national levels.
Prayut said the first priority of his administration is to “to reduce inequality, to render justice, to forge social cohesiveness and to rapidly redress economic and social troubles.” He added that the process should be inclusive and that all sectors of Thai society should participate fully and freely in it.
Following his speech at the summit, the Prime Minister oversaw the opening of an exhibition on King Bhumibol’s Sufficiency Theory. He then met with leading members of the U.S.-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Council at the Metropolitan Hotel in New York. He briefed them and answered questions about the Kingdom’s economic and political situation, and reassured them that democratic elections would be held in 2017.
On Thailand’s election as chair of the G-77, Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai said, “This reflects the international community’s confidence and trust in Thailand and the country is ready to serve as a ‘bridge-builder’ among G-77 members, and also with other U.N. member states.”
Analysts said Thailand’s performance as chair could bolster its campaign for a seat on the U.N. Security Council for the 2017-18 session.
Thailand Focus September 28, 2015
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