13 July 2024

Statement by Srettha Thavisin Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand at the General Debate 
of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday 22 September 2023, United Nations Headquarters, New York.

Mr. President,

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

On behalf of the delegation of the Kingdom of Thailand, allow me to congratulate you, Mr. President, upon your election to preside over the General Assembly at its seventy-eighth session.

Thailand has marked a new chapter in our democracy. I have only assumed office a few days ago, with the mandate of the people, to strengthen democratic institutions and values in Thailand, and to uplift the well-being of the Thai people, who have been through difficult times over the past several years.

In our foreign relations, we will play a proactive and constructive role in partnership with the international community.

My government will also be reaching out to friends and partners all around the world to forge closer ties of partnership through commerce, investment and trade agreements.

Today, we meet at a time of multiple global challenges, including fragile global peace, declining human development and the sustainability of our planet.

These challenges require multilateralism and the spirit of international cooperation, and Thailand intends to work closely with all nations to meet these challenges head on.

Mr. President,

It is in the pursuit of peace that the United Nations was founded almost eight decades ago. Now more than ever, we must continue to lay a strong foundation for the prosperity of our peoples by striving for sustainable peace.

In this regard, Thailand welcomes the Secretary-General’s efforts in establishing a New Agenda for Peace.

We believe that this will spearhead the effort to revive multilateralism and enhance the UN’s role as a platform for the achievement of global peace.

Thailand’s vision for effective multilateralism is one that is inclusive, resilient and result oriented.

In the world of increasing international conflicts, violence and shifting global order, we reaffirm our commitment to maintaining peace and inclusivity.

Thailand will pursue peaceful and collaborative relations with all members of the international community. We believe that long lasting peace can be achieved if we can strengthen our multi-lateral relations that is based on mutual trust, understanding and respect.

Mr. President,

Sustainable peace and development are linked with respect for human rights, human dignity and freedoms. To this end, the Thai Government is working to advance equality and justice, especially for the most vulnerable and the marginalized.

We plan to strengthen the rule of law and increase transparency within the government. We will ensure that the law is fair, strictly enforced and applied to everyone equally.

Thailand is the ASEAN candidate for the Human Rights Council for the term 2025-2027. This reaffirms our sincere commitment to the advancement of human rights at home and abroad.

We will ensure that the Human Rights Council is well-equipped to address new and emerging human rights challenges and contribute positively to the international community.

Since its inception in 2002, Thailand’s Universal Health Coverage has ensured that all Thai citizens are entitled to essential preventive and curative health services at all life stages.

In the coming years, we plan to further invest to upgrade our Universal Health Coverage to improve the quality of the program and to give all patients the freedom to choose the healthcare provider best suited for them.

This will ensure that access to high-quality health services will continue to be a universal right for all.

If the recent global pandemic has taught us anything, it is that access to healthcare is one of the most essential services a government can provide to its people.

Dealing with contagious diseases is not one country’s problem, but the world’s shared responsibility. The global health architecture should be reformed and strengthened.

We hope that the pandemic treaty can be established, so that we can have a more resilient, responsive and future-ready global public health infrastructures.

Mr. President,

Thailand welcomes the SDG Summit which reaffirmed that sustainability is the only way forward to protect our planet and the well-being of our people. Yet, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, by most benchmarks, still proves elusive, as only 12 per cent of the goals are on track.

This is why we must accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

To achieve sustainable development, we must first take care of our people. My government plans to enact policies to stimulate job creation and provide financial support for low-income families and other vulnerable groups.

This will help level the playing field and aid in the creation of a more just society.

For many years, Thailand has been a strong advocate for a more balanced, people-centered and sustainable path to growth. The Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP), our long-standing locally-driven development approach, has consistently been applied to promote balance in all aspects.

Building on the SEP is the Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model, which leverages science, technology and innovation to advance economic growth, while conserving the environment and ecosystems.

These are not merely concepts, but they are being implemented in Thailand. For example, we have piloted the sustainable agronomy model, which reimagines the way farmers cultivate their lands and manage water supply.

This will not only reduce the impact on the environment but will also reduce vulnerability to climate change and enhance the well-being of farmers nationwide.

Thailand is ready to form regional and global partnerships for sustainable development, including through South-South and triangular cooperation.

And as the ASEAN Coordinator on Sustainable Development Cooperation, we are committed to forging closer partnerships among ASEAN countries and beyond to drive forward sustainable development and build resilience.

Mr. President,

July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded in human history. This is in line with the Secretary-General’s statement that “the era of global warming has ended, and the era of global boiling point has arrived.” The climate crisis is one of the most urgent threats that requires our collective and immediate action.

To this end, Thailand welcomes the Climate Ambition Summit to accelerate climate action that will mitigate the destructive impacts of the ongoing climate crisis.

Together we must devise the means to adapt and enhance climate resilience.

As the global climate change crisis continues to worsen, so too will the issue of food insecurity and malnutrition. As a leading exporter of food and agricultural products, Thailand is suffering from the effect of global climate change and the effect of El Niño.

To ensure food security for the world, we are working hard to improve our water management systems and farming techniques. We are doing our part to make sure that food security can become a reality.

To achieve a more sustainable future, we must invest in the planet. Thailand is implementing Green Finance Mechanism, including the issuance of Sustainability Linked Bonds and the Thailand Green Taxonomy to boost growth and investments in environmental and social projects, while contributing to the effort to address the challenges of climate change.

To do our part, Thailand is determined to deliver on our pledge: 40 per cent of Green House Gas emissions reduction by 2040, carbon neutrality by 2050, and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065 by mainstreaming climate actions in all economic activities.

Our National Energy Plan has integrated our climate targets by enhancing energy efficiency, increasing the share of renewable energy, making a modal shift of transport through domestic electric vehicles production.

Mr. President,

The United Nations represents the common aspiration of the global community. We must redouble our efforts to ensure that the organization continues to be the best representation of our collective humanity and solidarity.

As such, Thailand has great expectation for the Summit of the Future to foster a better future for all, based on the spirit of multilateralism, with the UN at the helm, in the global push towards sustainable peace and sustainable development.

Thailand believes now is the time to pursue our common agenda for peace, prosperity and sustainability for all.

We invite every nation to be more ambitious in our goals, accelerate our actions, and work harder together to address these challenges. Only together can we build our better future.

Thank you