Cross-cutting issues


At the heart of the UN’s work in Thailand, as elsewhere, is a set of core values.  These are values that have evolved by global consensus over the years, with the continuum of conferences.   They are values to which the Royal Thai Government, as a progressive member state, has fully subscribed to in terms of declarations, conventions, protocols, etc.  The UN System in Thailand is committed to the advancement of these values and sees its principal role as being to support the government and people of Thailand to apply them in the country.



The 147 heads of State and Government who participated in the UN Millennium Summit declared their commitment to make “the right to development a reality for everyone”. Following years of sustained economic growth, accompanied by substantial decline in poverty incidence, Thailand has achieved modest success in meeting the basic needs of the majority of its people. Building on this success, it is now incumbent upon Thailand to shift from a needs based to a rights based approach to development. The distinguishing feature of the latter approach is that it recognises the right of everyone, especially those who belong to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, not only to satisfy their basic needs but also to make a choice in their way of life as a dignified member of society.  The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to which Thailand acceded in 1999, provides the international legal framework to the principle that development is a fundamental human right.



The Millennium Summit declared that “the equal rights and opportunities of women and men must be assured”. Although progress has been made in reducing gender inequality in Thailand, an anti-female bias persists resulting in many gender imbalances such as unequal access to and control over resources, lack of control over reproduction, and unequal economic opportunities. Promoting political, social and economic opportunities for women are means of empowering women, of enabling them to participate in decision making about matters that affect their lives, within the family and the community as well as at local and national levels.



Thailand’s development strategy depends heavily on its collaboration with its neighbours. Indeed, its future prosperity depends to a significant extent on its ability to, on the one hand, develop its economic relationships in the region while, on the other hand, managing the cross-border challenges it faces. UN is especially well placed to support this process. Thailand’s strategic objective of opening up economically the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, comprising both economic and social infrastructure, places it in an important leadership position with ASEAN and the GMS region. The UN’s work regionally, as well as in each of the individual countries represents an important complement to Thailand’s efforts in this regard.

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