22 Sep 2021
Remarks by H.E. General Prayut Chan-ocha (Ret.)
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand
at SDG Moment 2021
of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
20 September 2021 (via video message)
His Excellency the President of the General Assembly,
His Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
As a country that places importance on and have taken an active role in driving forward sustainable development at both the national and international levels,
I am delighted to join the SDG Moment 2021 today, especially after Thailand presented our Voluntary National Review (VNR) to the United Nations this July.
The Thai Government, in collaboration with all sectors, is systematically ensuring progress towards achieving the SDGs, guided by the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy. The Government has adopted the 20-year National Strategy, aligned with the SDGs, to ensure that policy implementation and budgeting at all levels genuinely correspond with the country’s development needs and SDGs implementation.
In this Decade of Action for sustainable development, Thailand’s pathway towards SDGs attainment involves three milestones:
First is the promotion of quality of life and well-being for people of all ages. The COVID-19 pandemic has served to underline the importance of a robust public health system and inclusive Universal Health Coverage. At the same time, adequate budget allocation for healthcare has become an immediate priority, in tandem with the upscaling of medical industries and public health services to ensure self reliance during times of crisis for all Thai people, particularly the elderly, a group that is rapidly increasing in population.
Second is the building back of the Thai economy in the post-COVID-19 recovery phase through a “Balance of All Things” approach. Thailand is developing sustainable and environment-friendly industries with the Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model or BCG. The Model is based on scientific and technological advancement and innovations aiming to, among others, add value to food and agricultural industries, build bio industries and energy alternatives, and overhaul the tourism industry structure towards ecotourism. Furthermore, the automotive industry, for which Thailand is a significant global production base, will undergo structural adjustments. The Government has set the goal of increasing the production of electric vehicles to 30 per cent of total vehicle production by 2030 to meet Thailand’s international environmental commitments and contribute to climate action.
Third, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed existing vulnerabilities in the society, especially among those who lack access to digital technologies for learning and income generation. As a result, closing the digital divide and promoting digital literacy is key to unlocking the people’s potential. The Government will utilise the Thai People Map and Analytics Platform or “TPMAP”, based on the government’s Big Data, to respond to the need of specific groups and other poverty-related problems.
The SDGs cannot be achieved with the Government’s efforts alone. Rather, a paradigm shift and integrated action from all sectors, including the private sector and the people are needed.
In closing, I wish to affirm Thailand’s commitment to move forward without leaving anyone behind, and our readiness to work in partnership with others to achieve the SDGs together.
I thank you.