Resident Co-ordinators
Annual Report for 1999


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I.          Introduction
II.         The UN System in Thailand
III.       Political and Socio-Economic Developments
IV.       Trends in Development Cooperation
V.        UN Programmes and Activities in Thailand

1.         Common Country Assessment (CCA)
2.         UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)
3.         Jointly-Supported Programmes
             (a) Thai-UNCAP
             (b) CERCAP
             (c) Trafficking in Women and Children
             (d) UNAIDS
4.         Theme/Working Groups
             (a) Gender, Women and Development
             (b) Social Impact of the Crisis
             (c) Poverty Alleviation and Food Security
5.         Individual agency programmes
6.         Common Premises and Services


            1.         Composition of the UN System Country Team in Thailand
            2.         Structure of UN Collaboration during 1999
            3          Development Cooperation in Thailand, 1998
                        a.         Summary Table of Development Assistance, 1998
                        b.         Breakdown of Development Assistance, 1998
                        c.         UN System Disbursements, 1998
            4.         Individual UN Agency Programmes in Thailand


This report covers the major activities undertaken by the UN system in Thailand during 1999.  It has been prepared by the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in close consultation with the UN family of agencies active in Thailand.   It will be circulated to a wide variety of stakeholders in Thailand and beyond for their information and reference.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand, as in other developing countries, is appointed by the Secretary-General and charged with ensuring an appropriate level of collaboration between the various funds, programmes and specialized agencies of the UN Family.    He leads a UN Country Team (UNCT) comprising the heads of all UN agencies represented in the country, and a variety of agencies which are not normally resident but which maintain an active programme of cooperation with the national authorities. 

Focused on the System’s operational activities for development, the UNCT is charged with both responding to the development needs of the country, as well as advancing the UN’s global agenda.  This agenda is articulated in a variety of international conventions, as well as in a series of international conferences that established a global consensus on many issues during the 1990s.


The UN system in Thailand is unusually large and complex: Bangkok has long been a regional centre for the United Nations, having hosted the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) since the 1950s.  Many other UN agencies have since established regional and/or sub-regional offices.  Moreover, Thailand in general, and Bangkok in particular, plays host to many international conferences, consultations and workshops.

Altogether, there are 21 UN agencies/funds/programmes with offices in Bangkok, including the two Bretton Woods institutions and the International Office for Migration (IOM).   Most of them are functioning as regional offices - some covering the entire Asia and the Pacific region (e.g. FAO) and others only part of the region (e.g. UNESCO). In addition to a regional office, some also have an area office covering Thailand and several other countries (e.g. ILO), while others have a country office for Thailand (e.g. UNICEF). UNDP, WHO and IOM only have country offices in Thailand; their respective regional offices are in New York, New Delhi and Manila.   The UN community in Thailand continues to evolve:  at the time of writing, UNIDO is converting its existing country office into a regional representation.  Similarly, WFP after closing down its Thailand programmes several years ago is now re-opening as a regional office, intended to provide technical support to a number of neighbouring countries.

Annex 1 provides a current list of UN agencies with representation in Bangkok, along with their respective geographic coverage and head of office.

Coordination of this complex UN community takes place under the joint aegis of the Executive Secretary of ESCAP, who chairs the Regional Inter-Agency Committee for Asia and the Pacific (RICAP)[1], and the UN Resident Coordinator, who leads country-level activities.  There are regular meetings of heads of agencies and a variety of working groups in specific subject areas.   Annex 2 provides a list of the various committees and theme/working groups that met during 1999.


The year 1999 was an auspicious year for Thailand as it marked the beginning of the country’s recovery from a financial crisis that led to economic contraction, accompanied by severe social and human development impact.

It will be recalled that the financial crisis started on 2 July 1997 when monetary authorities decided to float the domestic currency, following a futile attempt to defend it against speculative attacks in the face of a huge external current deficit and dwindling international reserves. As a direct consequence, the economy stagnated in 1997 and contracted by 9.4 percent in 1998.  Many Thais suffered from reduction or loss of real income as unemployment and underemployment rose, particularly in urban areas. Real wages fell by 10 percent in February 1998 from the level a year ago. Unemployment rose from 641,000 in February 1997 to 1.5 million in February 1998 and to 1.7 million in February 1999, equivalent to 4.6 and 5.4 percent of the labor force, respectively.[2] Loss of income or jobs in turn led to increases in school dropouts and malnutrition among school children.

The overall human development impact of the crisis was the reversal of a declining trend in poverty incidence in Thailand, which had been achieved through sustained economic growth of around 8 percent annually. After declining from 32.6 percent in 1988 to 23.2 percent in 1992 and to only 11.4 percent in 1996, poverty incidence increased to 12.9 percent in 1998.  Although more recent figures are not yet available, it is likely that this further increased during the early part of 1999.  In absolute terms, over 1 million Thais became poor from 1996 to 1998 mainly as a result of the crisis. Income inequality (measured by the Gini Index) which had been declining from 49.9 percent in 1992 to 47.7 percent in 1996 also suffered a reversal from the crisis when it increased to 48.1 percent in 1998.[3]

By the middle of 1999, financial stability had been restored, with interest and inflation rates even lower than pre-crisis levels, through prudent fiscal and monetary management. Prime lending rate had fallen to only 8.25 percent in October 1999 from double-digit rates at the height of the crisis in late 1997 and early 1998. Year-on-year inflation rate was in fact negative for the period June to October 1999; the average from January to October was positive 0.4 percent. The domestic currency has partly recovered its pre-crisis value of Baht26/US$ and is currently stable at Baht 38-39/US$.[4]  The Government has announced that it would not draw any more funds from the balance of US$ 3.4 billion remaining  from the original IMF rescue package of US$17.2 billion.

The economy started its recovery during the first quarter of 1999 when GDP in real terms registered a positive growth of 0.9 percent, improving to 3.3 percent in the second quarter and to 7.7 percent in the third quarter. The forecast for the entire year is 4 to 4.5 percent, which is an impressive economic turnaround from a contraction of almost 10 percent in 1998. The recovery has been fueled mainly by the manufacturing, trade and tourism sectors from the supply side and by private consumption and investment (particularly during the third quarter) from the demand side, indicating restoration of both consumer and investor confidence in the Thai economy.[5]

Quick economic recovery was made possible by two sets of carefully designed economic stimulus packages:

Thailand’s recovery from the social and human development impact of the crisis has not been as dramatic despite a number of measures taken to mitigate it. These measures included:

As mentioned earlier, the unemployment rate in February 1999 (5.4 percent), particularly among those with secondary and university education, was still higher than the rate a year ago, although a slight reduction of the unemployment rate to 5.3 percent was registered in May 1999. The rate declined further to 3.1 percent in August 1999 but this was due mainly to seasonal employment in agriculture during the wet season.[7] While average real wage in February 1999 (Baht 4,316/month) already registered a slight increase of 1 percent over a year ago, it was still 9 percent below the pre-crisis level.  In short, while real growth in the economy has been restored, loss of purchasing power arising from loss of jobs and from decline in real wages has not been fully recovered.  Furthermore, due to population growth and the huge contraction of the economy in 1998, it is estimated that full recovery of pre-crisis per capita GDP could be achieved only in 2005.[8]

Even before the outbreak of the financial crisis, Thailand had already recognized two of its underlying causes, namely:

This recognition was translated into political action when:

The 1997 crisis merely heightened recognition of these fundamental economic, social and governance issues and strengthened the resolve of the Thai people to effectively address them. Accordingly, a number of policy and institutional reforms to improve the system of governance were introduced, many of which required enactment of new laws. Among them were the laws on Decentralization, National Audit, Referendum, Official Information, Ombudsman, National Counter Corruption Commission, and National Human Rights Commission.

Policy and institutional reforms, including the new institutional framework for governance, were introduced not only to restore financial stability and economic growth in the short-term but more importantly to lay the foundation for sustained and equitable development in the longer-term future.   While the building blocks for this new structure of governance in Thailand have been laid over the past several years, they will culminate in the first round of national elections under the new ground rules, which are scheduled to take place in 2000.  Senate elections will take place in March and Parliamentary elections not later than November 2000.


Since the financial crisis struck the country in July 1997, and as a result of its adverse economic, social and human development impact, there has been a resurgence of interest among donors and creditors to provide development assistance to Thailand. 

Apart from the IMF, which provided stand-by credits to restore financial stability, the two major multilateral financial institutions active in Thailand (IBRD and ADB) committed substantial policy-based development loans for budgetary and balance of payments support in 1998 and 1999.   The other major international source of concessional capital, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation [9], also contributed substantial resources in support of Thailand.

Bilateral assistance programmes have tended to dwindle in the recent past, as scarce development resources have been redirected during the 1990s to poorer countries than Thailand.  However, several donors reassessed this graduation process and restored their programmes for the time being.

With respect to the UN system, its major programmes were reoriented to make them more responsive to the new development cooperation needs that emerged from the crisis. Support was re-directed towards short-term measures to immediately address the human development impact of the crisis such as training and/or re-training of laid off workers and school dropouts and to other measures with longer-term implications. The latter included support to policy and institutional reforms to enhance transparency, participation and decentralization in governance.

Total development assistance disbursed in 1998 (the latest year for which comprehensive data is available) amounted to almost US$2.5 billion, of which 96 percent was in concessional loans. (Please refer to Annex 3a – Summary Table of Development Assistance to Thailand in 1998.) As a middle-income country belonging to the medium human development category, only 4 percent was provided in grants. Almost all (99.4 percent) was in the form of official development assistance (ODA) as defined by OECD.  In terms of source, a little over one half (53.2 percent) came from bilateral sources, of which almost US$700 million originated from Japan.  Other major bilateral sources in terms of ODA grant disbursements in 1998 were Germany, Denmark, France, Sweden and Australia. (Please refer to Annex 3b – Breakdown of Development Assistance to Thailand in 1998.) A little less than one half (46.2 percent) of the total came from multilateral sources, of which ADB and IBRD accounted for US$560 million and US550 million, respectively. 

Based on data collected directly from UN agencies represented in Bangkok (excluding IBRD), ODA disbursement in 1998 from the UN system in Thailand amounted to US$10.6 million. (Please refer to Annex 3c – UN System ODA Disbursements in 1998.) Of this amount, UNICEF disbursed almost US$4 million. Other major sources of assistance within the UN system in 1998 were WHO (US$2.3 million), UNDP (US$1.9 million), and UNHCR (US$1.5 million). Key activities of individual UN agencies for which these ODA disbursements were made are presented in Section V, sub-section 5, of this report.


The UN System’s operational activities for development in Thailand comprise a wide range of individual agency programmes, as well as certain collaborative activities, undertaken jointly.  In view of the large and diverse presence of the UN, individual agency activities are extensive and are therefore described in schematic form in Annex 4.   

1.       Common Country Assessment (CCA)

The CCA, preparation of which was initiated in 1998, was published in April 1999

The CCA represents an independent assessment by the UN system of the development situation in Thailand, taking its lead from the declarations and plans of action that emerged from the various global conferences in the 1990s.  But it also takes account of the goals and priorities of the eighth plan of the Royal Thai Government and the social and human development impact of the economic crisis. Indeed, the structure of the CCA document is patterned after the “Components of Well-being” used by the RTG in monitoring the eighth plan. The draft CCA was reviewed and subsequently endorsed by NESDB following incorporation of its comments. At NESDB’s request, it was published in time to serve as an input to the mid-term review of the eighth plan.

The CCA concluded that polarization of Thai society and the economy remains the principal challenge to sustainable development. This is manifested by the continuing gap between rich and poor, between rural and urban areas, between Bangkok and the rest of the country, between those who are educated and those who are not, etc. To reduce the gap between these extremes, the CCA identified two critical development needs:

2.       UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)

The next stage, following publication of the Common Country Assessment, will be preparation of the UNDAF.  The UNDAF represents the UN’s integrated response to the development needs of Thailand, based on the conclusions of the CCA and the articulated development strategy of the country.  The UNDAF will therefore be prepared in close parallel with the government’s Ninth Five Year Plan, to be completed in 2001 and expected to span the period 2002 – 2006.

In anticipation of this process, the UN Country Team in Thailand initiated in the latter part of 1999 the establishment of a UN common database. The data that will emerge when the CCA indicators are measured at various levels of disaggregation will comprise the database.  The collection of this data will be shared among the participating UN agencies, and based on the official data of the Government.   UN agencies were at various stages of data collection and indicator estimation when the year ended. The database is targeted for completion and electronic installation at the UN Resident Coordinator web site by June 2000.

[Webmaster's note: the UN Common Database was placed on the site in late March, 2000]

3.       Jointly Supported Programmes

In 1999, the UNCT intensified its collaboration on a number of activities relating to implementation, management and design of programmes and initiatives, in partnership with the Royal Thai Government (RTG), civil society and other stakeholders. Major collaborative efforts of the UNCT were directed towards supporting:

(a)        Thailand-United Nations Collaborative Action Plan (Thai-UNCAP)

The UN system supported the formulation of the 8th Plan for the period 1997-2001 which adopted the principle of “holistic and people-centered development”. Thai-UNCAP is an attempt to pilot-test the operationalization and application of that principle at the community level. It was launched in early 1997 for implementation in five pilot provinces through a collaborative arrangement between the UN system and Thai development partners – central government, local government units, the private sector, CSOs and CBOs.

Among UN agencies, the most active participants were FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank through their membership in the Thai-UN Partnership Board, which provided policy oversight to the activities of Thai-UNCAP. Other UN agencies participated actively through technical support to the planning and implementation of Thai-UNCAP projects. 

UNDP provided financial support through contributions to a Partnership Facility established to help finance the planning process as well as the implementation of projects identified by the communities themselves. The Thai-Pattana Foundation also contributed financial resources to the facility. A small grant of Baht 150,000 from the facility was allocated to each participating village, which was given the discretion to determine how the grant was to be used.

After three years of implementation, Thai-UNCAP has successfully demonstrated in five provinces the effective application of a participatory community development management model. The pilot testing of the Thai-UNCAP model has shown that the ‘holistic and people-centered development” approach embraced by the 8th plan can be operationalized and successfully applied at the community level. Thai-UNCAP has also proved that it is sustainable and replicable in a wider scale. High-level officials of the RTG, including the Prime Minister, the NESDB Secretary-General, and other members of the National Social Policy Committee have endorsed the Thai-UNCAP process for replication in other areas.

A joint Workshop between Thai-UNCAP and CERCAP was held on 23-24 June 1999 in Petchburi with a view to mainstreaming the Thai-UNCAP model into the normal development management activities of local government units in Thailand through CERCAP. (Please refer to sub-section (b) below.)

At the Thai-UN Partnership Board Meeting held on 18 August 1999, it was decided that Thai-UNCAP should continue even after the termination of UNDP financial support in December 1999. The locus of management and coordination support has now been transferred from the UNDP Country Office to NESDB.

(b)        Community Empowerment Response to Crisis Action Plan (CERCAP)

Following the series of national dialogue and consultative meetings organized by the UN system to consider critical policy issues relating to the social impact of the economic crisis, the UNCT decided to support the National Social Policy Committee (NSPC) in the design and implementation of an action plan to mitigate the social impact of the economic crisis. UNICEF initially provided support to NSPC in analyzing the effectiveness of a number of on-going ad hoc responses to the crisis and in identifying gaps and overlaps. It was in light of this analysis that a more comprehensive response was deemed necessary. NSPC saw the need not only to address the social impacts of the crisis in the short-term, but also to develop a longer-term framework and strategy to make the Thai society more resilient and immune to the social consequences of such crises.

The Office of the Resident Coordinator provided consulting services to NSPC in the design of CERCAP. It seeks to empower communities to identify and prioritize issues and problems resulting from the economic crisis through participatory planning and to manage and monitor their own crisis-response initiatives. Their capacities are to be strengthened to ensure effective use of resources available from various sources, including their own, with sustainable results.

To ensure coherence and to enhance effectiveness of UN system support to CERCAP, a UN System Strategy in Support of CERCAP was adopted. Among others, the strategy encompasses: (a) a UN framework for joint programming or for individual special projects in support of CERCAP; and (b) individual agency strategies for supporting CERCAP through their ongoing programmes across the country where the windows for such support can be created and the opportunities arise. Within this framework, UNDP committed US$ 610,000 from its CCF resources and US$ 50,000 from its global Fast Track Facility to support the launching and implementation of the action plan.

The Prime Minister launched CERCAP through a national workshop at the Government House on 26 March 1999 attended by high level officials of all implementing agencies. This was followed by a series of provincial level launching to orient actors and beneficiaries of the principles and features of the action plan. Facilitators from the network of community colleges (Rajabhat institutes) all over the country were trained to assist communities in development planning and in the identification, preparation, resource mobilization, and implementation of their own crisis-response projects.

(c)                Trafficking in Women and Children in the Mekong Sub-region

The objective of this project is to combat trafficking in women and children in the Mekong sub-region by strengthening national and sub-regional capacities. Through this project, the UN system, in partnership with governments, NGOs, CBOs, and other civil society organizations, will facilitate collaboration and coordination of local, national and sub-regional activities, using a multi-sectoral and participatory approach. By building on existing activities and identifying comparative strengths and possible complementarities of various partners, the project aims to avoid duplication and fill gaps in ongoing and planned activities to combat trafficking. In this context, the project will support ongoing and new initiatives to help prevent trafficking.

This project was conceived, designed, and proposed to the UN Foundation (Ted Turner Fund) for funding by a UN Working Group (UNWG) organized within the UN Resident Coordinator system in Thailand. The Office of the Resident Coordinator in Thailand is now managing it in cooperation with the same offices in five other participating countries (Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam) in the sub-region. As the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator does not have the corporate personality to receive and disburse funds, financial support in the amount of US$ 2.3 million from the Turner Fund was channeled through UNDP. The Government of Australia has contributed additional financial support of approximately US$520,000.

While management structures are progressively being established in the participating countries, recruitment to the post of Project Manager for the programme as a whole has been slower than intended.  However, the position should be filled by early 2000.

The UNWG on Trafficking, composed of 10 UN agencies, with participation of one inter-governmental organization (IOM) and six NGOs, continues to provide technical support to the Office of the Resident Coordinator in managing this project. It meets as often as necessary to advise and assist the UNRC in dealing with technical and management issues relating to project implementation.

(d)               UNAIDS

UNAIDS, a joint programme of seven UN agencies, was managed by a Theme Group chaired by WHO until December 1999. The Theme Group coordinated the formulation and implementation of twelve projects funded by UNAIDS through the Strategic Planning and Development Fund (SPDF). A number of UN agencies, including UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, UNDCP, and UNIFEM, participated in the implementation of these projects either as executing or monitoring agent. For example, UNDP acted as executing/monitoring agent for four SPDF-funded projects dealing with HIV/AIDS awareness raising, community empowerment, preparation for donors meeting, and institutional networking in various provinces. UNFPA performed the same function for two projects on HIV/AIDS education in Rayong province and on mobilizing community resources in Mahasarakham province. The theme group meetings served as forum for reporting and resolving project implementation issues and bottlenecks.

The theme group also provided guidance to the UNAIDS Country Programme Adviser for and on behalf of the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator.

4.       Theme/Working Groups

In addition to the UNAIDS Theme Group and the UNWG on Trafficking, collaboration among UN agencies was greatly facilitated by the following subject-specific theme/working groups:

(a)                Gender/Women and Development (GWAD)

The Technical Working Group on GWAD, under the leadership of UNIFEM, facilitated collaboration and cooperation among UN agencies in mainstreaming gender issues to support the advancement of women in Thailand. GWAD also supported the efforts of RTG and NGOs in implementing the Beijing Platform of Action. In 1999, UNIFEM organized, in collaboration with the UN system and NGOs, the International Women’s Day through exhibition and panel discussion. In November, UNIFEM also rallied the UN System and NGOs to participate in the “16 Days of Activism Campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women” which culminated in a Public March to the Office of the Prime Minister.

(b)               Social Impact of the Economic Crisis

This ad hoc thematic group was responsible for coordinating UN support to Thailand in mitigating the social impact of the crisis.  The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) was contracted, through UNDP’s Sub-Regional Resource Facility (SURF), for this purpose. Other UN support was funded by UNDP from its SPPD and STS resources and executed by the specialized agencies, particularly UNESCO and ILO.

UNESCO was the executing agency for two projects:

ILO performed the same function for two other projects:

(c)                Poverty Alleviation, Rural Development and Food Security

The main objective of this new theme group, chaired by FAO, is to provide a forum to bring together UN and national agencies interested or engaged in poverty reduction and food security, in order to strengthen dialogue and information exchange, as well as planning and implementation of joint activities. Activities initially considered by the Theme Group would involve hosting of seminars, panel discussions and public debate to promote partnership among the UN, donor agencies and national agencies in dealing with poverty and food security issues in Thailand.

5.       Individual Agency Programmes

In addition to collaborative activities of UN agencies highlighted in sub-sections 1 through 4, each agency necessarily pursued other activities on its own in accordance with its competence and mandate to support national development objectives and priorities. As most UN agencies located in Thailand cover other countries in the Asia and the Pacific region as well, their activities were mostly inter-country in scope although some were specifically intended for Thailand. Following are the highlights of their activities in economic, social and human development cooperation as well as in humanitarian assistance. A more detailed presentation of their activities and the corresponding results in matrix form is presented in Annex 4.

ESCAPcontinued to promote cooperation among countries in the region in dealing with common development issues, including those arising from the East Asian economic crisis and its social impact. Various forums were organized for exchange of country experiences in dealing with the crisis, for discussion and dissemination of ESCAP’s development research outputs, and for coordination of inter-country development cooperation activities.

UNDP intensified its cooperation with RTG in creating an enabling environment for sustainable development through publication of the first National Human Development Report and strategic interventions in good governance, including pilot-testing of a decentralized model of public administration in three provinces. Support to a rural poverty programme implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Industry, and Ministry of Interior continued. 

UNFPA also continued its support to two pilot provinces to improve reproductive health.

UNHCR’s activities were directed mainly to Myanmar and Lao nationals in Thai camps through food and cash grants as well as reintegration kits for returnees.

UNICEF was engaged in a wide range of activities including support for polio eradication, voluntary and anonymous HIV testing and counseling, “Child Friendly School” initiative, protection of child laborers from hazardous working conditions, and promotion of rights of youth and of their capacity to advocate against abuse and exploitation.

UNIFEM’s major role in Thailand has been to support gender mainstreaming in the UN system through active participation in UN working groups and joint UN agency activities. UNIFEM provides leadership for the working group “Gender, Women and Development” (GWAD), and actively participates in other working groups such as “Trafficking in Women” and “HIV/AIDS”. UNIFEM is also very active in supporting projects on eliminating violence against women (VAW). For example, UNIFEM provided support for the Hotline Center Foundation’s TV call-in show on VAW which reaches over 1 million viewers, and activities for “International Women’s Day” and the “16 Days of Activism to Eliminate VAW”.

FAO supported the RTG in pursuing a number of follow-up actions to the 1997 World Food Summit, including the preparation and discussion of a Strategy Paper for Agricultural Sector Development.

ICAO’s assistance to the Department of Aviation was directed towards development of its regulatory capacity.

In addition to raising awareness of the Thai people on the ILO core conventions, ILO conducted a comprehensive employment policy review. The recommendations were under consideration by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare for submission to the Council of Economic Ministers.

IOM continued its efforts at building the capacity of the RTG and other countries in the sub-region to manage cross-border arrangements for the return and reintegration of human trafficking victims through, among others, training of police and immigration officials.

ITU assisted the RTG in the establishment of an independent regulatory commission for telecommunications.

UNDCP supported an assessment of seafarer’s HIV/AIDS vulnerability and drug use.

WHO supported the Ministry of Public Health, NGOs and universities in public health policy development, especially in areas of emerging and re-emerging health problems; quality use of medicine; health promotion; quality of health data; and health care reform.

6.         Common Premises and Services

The UN Community in Thailand is too large to be accommodated in one UN House.  However, there is a UN Building which, in addition to including a UN Conference Centre, houses ESCAP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNDCP, UNHCR, UNIFEM, UNEP, UNAIDS and ILO. All other agencies occupy separate offices in various parts of the city.

A UN Management Committee for Common Premises and Services, comprising the administrative heads of UN agencies, exists and meets periodically.


Annex 1
Composition of the UN System Country Team in Thailand


Office Name/Coverage

Head of Office




Asia and the  Pacific

Mr. Adrianus Mooy

Executive Secretary

Executive Secretary is also Chairman of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee  for Asia and the Pacific (RICAP)


Country Office  - Thailand

Mr. Michael Heyn – until 25 August 1999

Mr. J. K. Robert England – beginning 15 October 1999

UN Resident Coordinator

UNDP Resident Representative

Mr. Gamini Abeysekera, UNICEF Representative, was acting UN Resident Coordinator during the interim period


Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Mr. Prem Nath - until 31 December 1999

Mr. Dong Quingsong has been Officer-in-Charge since January 2000, pending appointment of new ADG

Assistant Director General and Regional  Representative for Asia and the Pacific

Mr. Dong Qingsong, Deputy Regional Representative is concurrently Chief, Thai Affairs Section of the regional office. He usually represents FAO at UN Agency Heads Meeting.


Country Office

Mr. Jayasankar Shivakumar

Country Director

Covers Thailand only


Asia and Pacific Office

Mr. Lalit Shah

Regional Representative



Regional  Office for Asia and Pacific

Ms. Mitsuko Horiuchi

Assistant Director General


Bangkok Area Office

Mr. Siwu Liu

Deputy Director and Officer in Charge

Covers Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Republic of Korea (ROK), Singapore, Myanmar



Mr. Shogo Ishii

Sr. Resident Representative



Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Dr. Michael Calvano




ESCAP-UNCHS Joint Section on Human Settlements

Mr. Jorge Carillo Rodriguez


Mr. Uwe Lohse, Human Settlements Officer, usually attends UN Agency Heads Meeting.


Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific

Mr. Christian Kornevall – Until June 1999

Dr. Sandro Calvani – Beginning 1 September 1999


Responsible for over 30 countries, namely, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, East Timor, Fiji, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, North Korea, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. Also responsible for the sub-regional programme in Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam and regional coordination with Australia, Japan and New Zealand.


Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Mr. Nirmal Andrews

Director and Regional Representative



Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (PROAP)

Mr. Victor Ordonez


Concurrently  UNESCO Representative to Thailand, Japan, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)


Office of the UNFPA

Ms. Sheila Macrae


Concurrently Country Director for Myanmar

Country Support Team for East and South – East Asia

Mr. Ghazi Farooq


Covers  Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, DPRK, China, Mongolia, Lao PDR, ROK, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar


Regional Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam

Mr. Jahanshah Assadi

Regional Representative



East Asia and Pacific Regional Office

Mr. Kul Gautam

Regional Director

Covers 25 countries including 13 Pacific Island countries grouped into a multi-country programme managed by the country office in Suva, Fiji. There are 13 representative UNICEF country offices in the East Asia and Pacific region. They are located in: Bangkok, Thailand; Beijing, China; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Pyongyang, DPRK; Suva, Fiji; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Vientiane, Lao PDR; and Yangoon, Myanmar.

Office for Thailand

Mr. Gamini Abeysekera


Covers Thailand only


Regional Office

Mr. Claudio Scaratti

Representative and Head of Regional Office

The UNIDO country office in Thailand was inactive in 1999 following the departure of the Country Director and a Junior Professional Officer in 1998. It has been reactivated since January 2000 and expanded into a regional office


Office of UNIFEM

Ms. Lorraine Corner

Regional Programme Adviser

Covers Thailand, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Brunei, Philippines, ROK, DPRK, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia


Asia and the Pacific

Mr. David Lazarus


Operates within the organizational structure of ESCAP


Regional Office

Ms. Prapasri Reopanichkul

National Associate Expert

Covers Thailand, Bangladesh, Cambodia,  China, India, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Japan, Vietnam, DPRK, and ROK


Office of the Representative in Thailand

Dr. E.B. Doberstyn


Covers Thailand only. Representative reports to Regional Director for Southeast Asia (New Delhi).

Liaison Office with ESCAP

Dr. Jadamba

Liaison Officer

Liaison Officer is directly under supervision of Regional Director for Southeast Asia.  Responsible for liaising with ESCAP the implementation of  WHO policies (not programmes) in Southeast Asia (New Delhi), Western Pacific (Manila), Eastern Mediterranean (Alexandria), and Europe (Copenhagen)


Asia Pacific Inter-country Team

Dr. Wiwat Rojanapithayakorn

Team Leader



Dr. Usa Duongsaa

Country Programme Adviser

Initially recruited as Short Term Consultant for three months through SSA


Office of Mission in Thailand

Ms. Regina Boucault

Chief of Mission

Regional Office in Manila covering Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand,  Hong Kong, Japan, ROK, Australia, China

Annex 2
Structure of UN Collaboration during 1999

1.      Heads of Agency (HOA) Meeting - convened and presided by the UN Resident Coordinator or, in his absence, by the Acting Resident Coordinator.

·        Regular quarterly meetings - at which issues of general interest are raised and decisions are taken, e.g. progress of implementation of the UNCT Work Plan.
·        Special meetings - convened as the need arises, e.g. preparation for the visit of the UN Deputy Secretary-General, preparation for the Beijing + 5 regional conference, meeting with bilateral donors and multilateral financial institutions to discuss cooperation in mitigating the social impact of the economic crisis.

2.      Theme Groups

·        UNAIDS, chaired by WHO, and assisted by its Technical Working Group on operational matters relating to the implementation of several country projects funded through SPDF. The UNAIDS Country Programme Adviser for Thailand works closely with the Technical Working Group.
·        Social Impact of the Economic Crisis, chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator, with three sub-groups dealing with Education, Children and Health chaired by UNESCO, UNICEF and WHO, respectively
·        Poverty Alleviation, Rural Development and Food Security, chaired by FAO

3.      Technical Working Groups/Task Forces

·        Common Country Assessment (CCA), chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator; responsible for coordinating the collaborative effort of the UNCT in producing the CCA of Thailand
·        Gender/Women and Development (GWAD), chaired by UNIFEM; facilitates collaboration, cooperation, and complementarity among UN agencies to mainstream gender issues and support advancement of women in Thailand
·        Trafficking in Women and Children, chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator; responsible for providing technical support to the management of RAS/98/H01
·        Task Force on the UN Common Database and UNDAF – created by the UNCT to take direct responsibility for establishment of a UN common database using the indicators identified in the CCA, and preparation of a UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

4.      Management Committee for Common Premises and Services – composed of administrative heads of UN agencies.

Annex 3a
Summary Table of Development Assistance to Thailand in 1998


Amount in thousand US dollars

Percentage Share




UN system (Excluding the IFIs)


World Bank






Non-UN system[13]

















Sub-total Official Development Assistance (ODA)














Total development assistance[17]









Annex 3b
Breakdown of Development Assistance to Thailand in 1998[18]


Amount in thousand US Dollars



Asian countries






















New Zealand




United Kingdom


















Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC)


Colombo Plan Secretariat (CPS)




Annex 3c
United Nations System[19] Official Development Assistance Disbursements in 1998

Funds, Programmes and Agencies

Amount in US Dollars[20]

1.      ESCAP


2.      FAO


3.      ICAO


4.      ILO


5.      IOM


6.      ITU


7.      UNAIDS[21]


8.      UNCHS


9.      UNDCP


10.  UNDP[22]


11.  UNEP




13.  UNFPA


14.  UNHCR






17.  UPU


18.  WHO




Annex 4
Key country-level activities of UN agencies in Thailand




1.        ESCAP

As a regional commission, ESCAP’s activities are necessarily regional in scope. Among the activities held in Thailand and/or participated in by Thailand in 1999 were the following:

·         Development Research and Policy Analysis - Expert Group Meeting on Development Issues and Policies, Expert Group Meeting on Economic and Financial Monitoring and Surveillance in the ESCAP Region, Regional Seminar on Growth with Equity

·         Environment and Natural Resources Development – Regional Workshop on Commercialization of Renewable Energy Technologies for Sustainable Development, Regional Workshop on Enhanced Electricity System Analysis and Planning, Regional Seminar on Promotion of Energy Efficiency in Industry and Financing of Related Public and Private Investments, Fifth Meeting of the Regional Working Group on Remote Sensing, GIS and Satellite-based Positioning, Fifth Meeting of the Inter-agency Subcommittee on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific

·         International Trade and Economic Cooperation – Support to the Committee on Regional Economic Cooperation and its Steering Group

·         Population and Rural and Urban Development – Support to the development of database on reproductive health indicators

·         Statistics – Workshops on merchandise trade statistics, poverty statistics, civil registration and vital statistics, standard classifications, application of information technology to population data and time use surveys.

·         Transport, Communications, Tourism and Infrastructure Development – Country Level Seminar on Development of Shipping Policies, Sustainable Traffic and Transportation Development in Rannatokosin Area of Bangkok, Workshop on Reduction of HIV Vulnerability within the Land Transport Sector (in cooperation with UNDP)

Enhanced inter-country cooperation in dealing with a variety of economic and development issues

2.        FAO

·         Support to RTG in the follow-up of the 1997 World Food summit

·         Implementation of TCP projects on sericulture and mushroom production for disabled persons

·         Implementation of four telefood projects; forest rehabilitation cooperative in Khon Khaen; crop production for members of women’s cooperative at Yasothon; Food for Life in Nakorn Ratchasima; and Fisheries gear replacement in Phan Nga Bay

·         In the context of TCDC, dispatch of  Thai experts to Cambodia and African countries

Strategy Paper for Agricultural Sector Development was discussed and revised for adoption

Capacity of Department of Agricultural Extension for sericulture improved;  most of 28 disabled persons trained in mushroom production have set up their own farms

Revolving fund has been set up and used by members

Exchange of  knowledge, ideas and expertise within and outside the region

3.        ICAO

Assistance to the Department of Aviation (DOA), Ministry of Transport and Communications, in the development of its regulatory capability

A report was produced, containing an assessment of organizational capabilities of DOA to carry out its regulatory functions, and a detailed strategic plan to assist DOA in the development of its capability in accordance with national requirements and in compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices

4.        ILO

·         Support to a workshop on workers’ rights and human rights held on 12 February

·         In cooperation with UNICEF, formulation of master and operational plan on child labor for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and five other provinces within the IPEC action programme

·         Conduct of a comprehensive employment policy review (CEPR)

·         Economic and Social Empowerment for Women

·         Assistance to the Inter-Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT) to develop local curricula for hill tribe peoples

·         Preparation of technical report on occupational safety and health towards the 21st century in Thailand

·         Capacity building of major employers and workers organizations in Thailand particularly in the area of union management and administration, adult education, collective bargaining and public relations

·         Assistance to small enterprise and management development

Different stakeholders - labor, employers, government, and other civil society organizations – with greater

awareness of ILO core conventions


Greater commitment towards punishment of those involved in sex trade and services

CEPR report has been under review by MoLSW for submission to the Council of Economic Ministers

Project on expansion of employment opportunities for women has been launched

Report submitted to RTG as a guiding tool in the future for occupational safety and health

Five working papers on micro and small enterprise development in Thailand completed; Training of Trainers for more than 40 officials of the Department of Public Welfare in managing micro and small enterprise support schemes; Thai version of the 'Improve Your Business Basics' book finalized

5.        IOM

·         Capacity building of governments in the Mekong sub-region to manage cross-border arrangements for the return and reintegration of victims of trafficking, in cooperation with NGO, and direct return and reintegration assistance to the victims of trafficking

·         Research on the profile and conditions of Thai migrants to four destinations: Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore as input to the formulation of a communication strategy about the hazards of irregular migration

·         Training of Thai police and immigration officials to enhance their capacity to treat victims of trafficking in line with human rights standards and Thai laws

·         Training of Southeast Asian police and immigration officials to enhance their capacity in counter-trafficking law enforcement and in dealing with trafficking victims in line with human rights standards and national laws

·         Information programme for Thailand on the risk of irregular migration as a prevention strategy through a study carried out for IOM by the Asian Research Center for Migration – Chulalongkorn University

·         Facilitation of inter-governmental dialogue and forum on migration, including:

§         Asia Pacific Consultations on Refugees, Displaced Persons, and Migrants (APC) – in cooperation with UNHCR

§         Regional Seminars on Irregular Migration and Migrant Trafficking (Manila Process)

§         International Symposium on Migration

583 trafficking victims were assisted

Communication strategy and campaign materials still under preparation

350 officials have been trained in 5 workshops

60 officials from 19 countries have been trained

Scope and origin of irregular migration has been identified and profile of potential migrants defined

Increased cooperation among countries in the region in dealing with migration issues

6.        ITU

Assisted the Post and Telegraph Department in the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and establishment of independent regulatory commissions for telecommunications and broadcasting; in particular, organized and sponsored fact-finding visits to South Korea, Australia and Singapore

Parliament has approved the establishment of the regulatory commissions

7.        UNAIDS

Note: As UNAIDS is a joint programme of seven UN agencies, its activities necessarily involve collaboration among them. They are therefore presented in  Section 5: Highlights of UN collaborative activities in Thailand


8.        UNDCP

Together with UNICEF and UNAIDS, supported the assessment of seafarer’s HIV vulnerability and drug use


9.        UNDP

·         Creation of enabling environment for sustainable human development Thailand through:

§         Production and dissemination of a National Human Development Report

§         Development and pilot-testing of a decentralization model in three provinces

§         Strategic interventions in good governance

·         Support to Thailand’s TCDC activities

·         Support to implementation of a rural poverty programme

·         Administration of a number of projects under GEF and Montreal protocol to protect and regenerate the global environment

·         Support to Mine Action Programme for implementation in Thai border areas

NHDR has been published and presented at a national policy committee meeting chaired by the Prime Minister

New decentralized administrative structure  has been pilot-tested in three provinces

Manual for Good Governance at the tambon level has been developed and pilot tested in a northern village of Chiangmai in September 1999

A proposal to develop indicators of human rights concerns in development projects and to integrate human rights considerations in development projects as a standard practice has been launched

Participants from 13 Asian countries have acquired knowledge in micro-finance, waste water treatment, HIV/AIDS prevention, and community development

A number of savings/credit groups has been established; two training workshops have been organized to enhance capacity of CSOs to identify problems and develop proposals for income generating activities

Better understanding and knowledge of local communities on integrated and sustainable use and protection of natural resources has been achieved; increased mainstreaming of environmental issues in other UNDP-funded programmes

Preparatory Assistance Document for the Mine Action Programme has been prepared for review of the RTG

10.     UNFPA

·         Assistance to two pilot provinces (Phayao and Pattani) to improve the reproductive health status of men, women, youth, and adolescents

·         Support to research on gender-sensitive reproductive health issues and strengthening capacity of researchers to conduct research on those issues

·         In the context of South-South cooperation, sharing of Thai experience on reproductive health and population issues through training courses for 60 health personnel from nine countries in Asia


11.     UNHCR

·         Assistance to Myanmar and non-Myanmar nationals in Burmese Students Center and in border vicinity camps through food and cash grants

·         Assistance to Lao nationals at Ban Napho camp through food and cash grants, and to Lao returnees through cash grants and reintegration kits


12.     UNICEF

·         Special support for polio eradication and HIV/AIDS activities. For the latter, the objective was to increase coverage of voluntary and anonymous HIV testing and counseling with priority for the pre-marital period, for universal coverage of pre-test counseling for HIV, and for quality improvement of HIV post-test counseling in ante-natal and post-natal care.

·         Support to the “Child Friendly School” initiative in the north and northeast regions

·         Support to reduction of number of children working in hazardous conditions and protection of child laborers from hazardous working conditions

·         Support to NGOs  in the north and northeast and small grants to 30 CBOs for reducing the burden of AIDS on the economic and social life of families with children affected by HIV/AIDS, and to improve their access to health, education and social welfare services

·         Assistance to families whose children face the risk of prostitution through provision of scholarships for girls, youth career development training on child rights sensitization, and improvement in law enforcement

·         Advocacy for early childhood care for growth and development

·         Support to promotion of rights of youth and of their capacity to advocate concerns against abuse and exploitation


13.     UNIFEM

·         Support to women’s NGOs and CBOs in public awareness campaigns and advocacy for policy and legal reforms  through:

§         Financial and technical support for a street march from the UN to parliament house to commemorate the first official International Women’s Day Against Violence and launch of 16 days of activism against violence

§         Sponsorship of a TV programme to stop violence against women

§         Formulation of a project on “Community Free from Violence Against Women” for a youth theatre group to increase knowledge on peer group education and to advocate elimination of gender violence in 22 schools in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area

·         Facilitated participation of women’s NGOs at the Asia-Pacific Regional NGO Symposium to review the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

·         Supported, jointly with UNDP, a seminar to launch the Association of Thai Women Community Leaders (ATCW) to promote leadership of women in Thailand

Greater awareness and motivation of  government to eliminate gender violence

Greater awareness and motivation of the public to take action on issues of gender violence

An NGO shadow report on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action was produced for presentation to the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2000 and to the UN General Assembly Special Session in June 2000

Formation of the Asia-Pacific Women Watch which will act as an NGO steering committee to strengthen the participation of NGOs in the Beijing + 5 process

Some members of ATCW are planning to enter politics at the local level

The President of ATCW is running for the Senate under the party list system

14.     WHO

·        Supported the Ministry of Public Health, NGOs and universities in public health policy development, especially in areas of emerging and re-emerging health problems; quality use of medicine; health promotion; quality of health data; and health care reform.

·         Supported interventions on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

·         Supported Healthy Cities Project, stressing community involvement in creating healthy urban environments.

·         Supported Tobacco Free Initiative.

·         Supported the establishment of the Health Intelligence Unit to establish indicators and monitor health impacts of economic crisis.

·         Supported training of international health scholars to prepare junior and mid-level officials for effective participation in international health forums and for possible work in international organizations.

·         Supported efforts toward international cooperation in health development, where countries of the region decide on priorities for mutual collaboration.

Through forum activities, more coordinated and focussed programmes implemented.

Guidelines for care and treatment developed and regional training programme (ACT Malaria) developed.

Healthy Cities project carried out in 5 regional cities in Thailand.  Programme now expanding to other cities.

Continued development of anti-tobacco policies and practices in Thailand.

Impact studies were carried out and the activities of the Health Intelligence Unit have been absorbed into the routine functions of the Ministry of Public Health.

Both university level and practical training provided to over 30 scholars, with 10 scholars preparing interventions at international meetings.

Three international workshops have been held and areas of concentration and focal points determined.


[1] Coordination at the inter-country level through RICAP is facilitated by a number of sectoral and thematic sub-committees chaired by different UN agencies.

[2] Based on the dry-season (February) survey of the National Statistics Office.

[3] “Poverty and Inequality during the Economic Crisis in Thailand”, Indicators of Well-Being and Policy Analysis, Volume 3, Number 1: January 1999, Newsletter of National and Social Development Board, Royal Thai Government

[4] Thailand Monthly Economic Review, Fiscal Policy Office, Ministry of Finance, December 1999

[5] Gross Domestic Product: Quarter3/99, National Economic and Social Development Board, December 1999

[6] “Thailand’s Economic Reform, Ministry of Finance, November 1999

[7] The comparable statistic would be the dry season survey in February 2000.

[8] Estimate by Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) at its presentation during the TDRI-SURF Methodology Workshop on the Social Impact of the Economic Crisis in Thailand, 6 July 1999.

[9] Until October 1999, this comprised two separate institutions, the OECF and the Export-Import Bank, which were amalgamated into JBIC on that date.

[10] UN Programme sponsored by 7 agencies

[11] Source: RTG, Ministry of Finance, Public Debt Management Office, Letter to UNDP of  20 January 2000

[12] Source: ADB

[13] Source: RTG, DTEC; consists of ASEAN and EU

[14] Source: RTG, DTEC

[15] Source: RTG, Ministry of Finance. Includes Japan amounting to $ 694.83 million.

[16] Source: RTG, DTEC; consists of Volunteers, SEAMEO and Colombo Plan Staff College and Secretariat

[17] Excludes 1998 disbursement of US$681 million from IMF stabilization loan

[18] Source: Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation, Prime Minister’s Office; data is for fiscal year 1998 (1 October 1997 – 30 September 1998); excludes UN and IFIs

[19] Excluding international financial institutions (IFIs)

[20] Based on response to letter of 17 December 1999 from the UN Resident Coordinator to Heads of Agency received as of 17 January 2000

[21] Based on data supplied by UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS. Disbursements mainly from projects funded through UNAIDS Strategic Planning and Development Fund (SPDF)

[22] Excluding funds administered by Headquarters such as  SPR, STS, SPPD


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Dated: 27Mar2000