UN calls Thailand a ‘role model’ in public health, agriculture

The head of the United Nations in Asia and the Pacific praised Thailand as a role model in agriculture and public health and urged the Kingdom to use its strengths to lead the region towards sustainable growth.

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), said that Thailand has demonstrated its resilience and that it is “capable of being a leader and good role model for the region” in various fields.

“When the agriculture sector is strong, like in the case of Thailand, where the sector forms the heart of the economy, a country can withstand any crisis, especially when the health sector is also robust,” she added.

Alisjahbana made the comments at the 78th meeting of ESCAP members in Bangkok. The theme of this year’s gathering, attended by every country in the region, is “A Common Agenda to Advance Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.”

Bangkok has served as the Asia-Pacific regional headquarters for the UN and its various agencies since the late 1940s when the organization was founded. The Kingdom’s stability, openness, infrastructure and role as a transportation nexus made it an ideal place for international organizations to base themselves for work in Asia. That remains true today.

Thailand is a regional agricultural powerhouse and the only net food exporter in Asia. A leader in exports of rice, sugar, fruits, seafood and other commodities, the Kingdom has been transitioning to more sustainable and circular practices in the sector. Its bountiful shipments of commodities are a bulwark against food insecurity.

The UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) have consistently praised Thailand over the years for its strong public health sector and said it shows what a developing or middle-income country can achieve. Thailand’s public health sector was a key ingredient in the Kingdom’s successful containment of COVID-19.

Photo courtesy of https://www.unescap.org/news/