Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has commended and extended support to all countries in overcoming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the Prime Minister on 21 May 2020 delivered inaugural remarks at the 76th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) under the theme topic “Promoting economic, social and environmental cooperation on oceans for sustainable development.”
The meeting was held via videoconference for the very first time due to the exceptional circumstance of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was attended by 51 ESCAP member States, as well as associate members and permanent observers.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister underscored the social and economic impacts posed by COVID-19, which is a great challenge that has forced everyone to adapt and embrace the “New Normal.”
He also reiterated the Royal Thai Government’s commitments in effectively responding to the outbreak through various measures, including the “Stay Home, Stop the Disease, for the Nation” campaign, by ensuring sufficient medical supplies, the provision of transparent and accurate information to the public, as well as the promotion of community participation through more than one million village health volunteers nationwide.
In Building Back Better, the Prime Minister stressed that everyone has to stand firm in the pursuit of sustainability, by placing importance on restoring the environment and maintaining balances between economic, social, environmental, development activities. The Sufficiency Economy Philosophy is Thailand’s path to achieving sustainable development and leaving no one behind.
In addition, the Prime Minister suggested that the COVID-19 crisis opens up opportunities for everyone to rethink and find new ways to enhance cooperation in various areas, such as food and energy security, public health, and the utilization of digital economy, which will help mitigate the economic effects and the disruption of supply chains. In this regard, Bio-Circular-Green Economy is a sustainable model that promotes inclusive growth.
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the Prime Minister expressed that multilateralism is being tested, and the United Nations as well as the multilateral system needed to evolve to better reflect interests of Member States. ESCAP plays a vital role as a platform for enhancing the exchanges of experiences and good practices, especially during crises such as COVID-19 that do not respect boundaries and require cooperation from every country and stakeholder. ESCAP is also an important mechanism to support countries in achieving the SDGs in this Decade of Action.