1 Apr 2021
A rapid socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must not be a return to business as usual and create further inequalities, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai affirmed in his remarks for the 8th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development.
In his pre-recorded remarks at the opening of the 8th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development on the 23rd of March 2021, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, highlighted the importance of a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive COVID recovery and reiterated his call for COVID-19 vaccines to be global public goods, accessible to all. He also set out three key issues at risk of being overlooked in the recovery efforts, namely: (1) transformative change through homegrown development approaches, such as Thailand’s SEP; (2) the digital divide and digital literacy; and (3) the promotion of green growth that will protect the environmental gains during the pandemic, including through the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model.
The 8th APFSD, organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) between 23-26 March 2021 in a hybrid format at the UN Conference Centre, Bangkok, was held under the theme “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Asia and the Pacific”. Representing an opportunity for the region to take stock of the effects of the crisis, including the public health and socio-economic dimensions, the Forum discussed the way forward in reinvigorating regional progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the Decade of Action.
On the same day, Mr. Nadhavathna Krishnamra, Director-General of the Department of International Organisations, delivered Thailand’s Country Statement emphasising Thailand’s ability to cope with the crisis through its resilient public health system and Universal Health Coverage. Guided by development approaches that prioritise human development and a whole-of-society approach to SDG implementation, he underlined that Thailand would present the second official submission of its Voluntary National Review (VNR) to the High-level Political Forum in New York this year.
The Department of International Organisations also organised 2 side events at the Forum. The seminar “Transformative Models to Build Back Better: Thailand’s approach to a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable COVID recovery” was opened by M.L. Suparat Devakul, Advisor to the Ministry. Speakers on the virtual panel included representatives from the National Science and Technology Development Agency of Thailand, the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The second event, “Volunteering as a Transformative Strategy for the Decade of Action”, was co-organised with UN Volunteers (UNV). Participants at these side events included government agencies, international organisations, academia, civil society, general public, as well as representatives from other countries, totalling over 1000 participants.