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Avian and Human Influenza Since 2003, a devastating epidemic of avian influenza has predominately affected poultry flocks in East Asia-particularly in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and China.For more information enter the UN Avian and Human Influenza web portal.

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Millennium Development Goals
The UNCT collaborated with the National Economic and Social Development Board to produce the first Thailand Millennium Development Goals Report 2004, launched on 23 June 2004. The report outlines specific progress in achieving MDGs, as well as identifying ongoing challenges and setting out the MDG Plus targets.

UN Country Team involvement was crucial to this process. This involvement was forged through a creative partnership between the Thai Development Board, UNDP and the World Bank, which provided overall substantive guidance and funding for the adaptation and report preparation processes.

The UN Country Team invested substantial staff time and financial resources in the processes involved in the preparation of the MDG Report. Members of the UN Country Team participated actively in the MDG Cluster Groups, contributing their expertise in specialized topics, particularly on complex data issues, as well as suggestions on policy analysis and messaging.

Concurrently, the agencies of the UN Country Team continued their operations to assist Thailand in terms of projects and programmes to achieve the MDGs. Many agencies also increased their policy analysis and advocacy efforts in support of Government implementation of the MDG "Plus" agenda. The MDG Report and the MDG "Plus" targets are now providing the overall framework for all future UN development work in Thailand.

A second one-goal-focus report on MDG 8 was launched September 13, 2005. With this joint publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UNCT, Thailand will be the first middle-income country to join several OECD countries in publishing a report on its contribution to Goal 8. The report specifies how Thailand helps promoting the MDG s beyond its borders through South-South development cooperation, providing foreign direct investment, opening up its markets to least developed countries, and building partnerships through regional and sub-regional cooperation. Thailand can also offer many insights and experiences from its own development history on what it takes to achieve the MDGs.

A third report, this time on MDG 3 to promote gender equality, was launched in late 2005 to assist in the outreach.

Concurrently, the Government, UNCT and partners have decided to focus development planning action on the poorest provinces and select provinces that have fallen behind. Two provinces, Mae Hong Song in the far north and Nakhon Phanom in the northeast on the banks of the Mekong River and Thailand's poorest province, were selected for pilot projects using the MDG framework.

Furthermore, a partnership has been formed between the National Statistical Office, UNDP, UNICEF and the World Bank to support Government's efforts to improve its statistics system and the availability of quality aggregated and disaggregated data.
The Thailand Country Team's work on HIV/AIDS, facilitated by the UNAIDS Secretariat team in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator, is a prime example of joint planning, programming and action by the UN System in collaboration with Thai public and civil society sector partners to further the "Three Ones" so critical to any effective national response to HIV/AIDS, as well as to achieving the Thai MDG "Plus" goal of reducing HIV prevalence in reproductive-age adults to 1%.

The 'Three Ones'

This refers to a UNAIDS-led framework for enhanced coordination and harmonization of actors and programmes to avoid duplicative and unsustainable responses. The consensus advances the following principles applicable to all stakeholders in national-level AIDS responses:

- One agreed AIDS action framework that provides the basis for coordinating the work of all partners

- One national AIDS coordinating authority with a broad-based multisectoral mandate

- One agreed country-level monitoring and evaluation system

MDG 6 on HIV/AIDS was the first Millennium Development Goal selected by the Thailand UN Country Team for joint advocacy and programming, primarily because of Thailand's successes during the early 1990s in significantly reversing the spread of HIV infection. At the same time, the UNCT recognized the risks to Thailand of increasing complacency and inaction (particularly with respect to prevention interventions) while STI rates were beginning to show signs of increase, particularly among youth. And, of course, the selection of Thailand to host the 2004 International AIDS Conference provided a fantastic opportunity to highlight both the existing challenges as well as the potential actions required to address these challenges.

The Thematic Report for MDG6

The UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS, UNDP and the Health Systems Research Institute, an independent think tank attached to the Ministry of Public Health, prepared a thematic MDG report for MDG 6, drawing partially on work of the MDG health cluster. The report, Thailand's Response to HIV/AIDS: Progress and Challenges, was launched in June 2004, ten days after the national MDG Report.

At the same time, the UNCT provided support and assistance to public and civil society sector actors as part of the overall UN Implementation Support Plan for HIV/AIDS, focussing primarily on catalytic interventions designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of necessary prevention, care and support activities around the country.
Human Trafficking
The United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Mekong Sub-region (UNIAP) was established to facilitate a stronger and more coordinated response to human trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Involving an extensive network of governments, NGOs, UN organisations and donors, the project began its second phase in 2004. The UNIAP office in Thailand, working under the supervision and guidance of the UN Resident Coordinator, focuses on national responses to this issue while benefiting from the project's regional scope, and involves the following UN agencies: ILO, IOM, OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNODC, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNDP and UNESCAP, as well as government and civil-society actors.

Like the UNAIDS Joint Project, UNIAP facilitates inter-agency cooperation within the UN System, improving efficiency, harmonising agency expenditures and donor practices in relation to high-priority national issues. These projects strengthen collaboration between the UN, government partners and civil society in support of national policy priorities, and allow for consistent progress in achieving MDG targets.

Main pillars of UNIAP's work are:

Support to national policy processes
Joint advocacy, communicaitons and campaigning
Monitoring and reporting
Operational support
Mobility and HIV Vulnerability

The vulnerability of migrants and mobile populations is included and highlighted as a priority in many national strategies on HIV and AIDS, the response to date however has been limited. Mobile and migrant populations are a diverse and particularly difficult group to reach. Specific and proactive responses must address their particular rights and needs. This in turn requires commitment, innovation, coordination at regional and national level, and dialogue to set practical priorities and responses.

The United Nations Regional Task Force on Mobility and HIV Vulnerability Reduction (UNRTF) brings together different stakeholders. These include governments, NGOs, migrant networks, donors, UN and other multilateral organisations, people living with HIV, and researchers. These partners work to develop more effective responses to the challenges of HIV vulnerability associated with mobility in South-East Asia and the southern provinces of China.

The Mandate of the Task Force is:

“To identify priorities and gaps and facilitates programmatic, policy, and advocacy actions to reduce mobility-related HIV vulnerability and address issues of care and support in the region ”