Remarks by the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand at The Opening of the Exhibition on Sustainable Development Goals


UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand, Mr. Luc Stevens, with members of the diplomatic corp.

Distinguished guests,

Colleagues and friends,

Let me begin by thanking the United Nations Country Team and many other UN staff for making this exhibition possible.  This is truly a one-of-a-kind exhibition, as it brings to the general public in Thailand the latest global development agenda.

Just merely one month ago, 193 Member States, including the Government of Thailand, adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

These new Global Goals are inspiring because it sets our vision clear: By 2030, we will have put an end to extreme poverty, and ensured a life of peace and dignity, leaving no one behind.

We have come a long way since the year 2000 when the Millennium Development Goals were adopted.  Today, we are proud to say that many MDG targets have already been met on the global level.  Thailand, too, has made great progress that include reduction of poverty, increased access to clean and safe drinking water, improvement in the lives of slum dwellers, and achievement of gender parity in primary schools

But we know far too well that our job is unfinished.  We are living in a world where inequality is growing, trust is fading, and impatience with leadership can be seen and felt far and wide.  In our world, there are still many people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and displaced.

The Sustainable Development Goals are essential, because they are built on the lessons learnt and successes from the MDGs.  For the first time, we have a global agenda that underscores a long-standing truth: there will be no peace without development, no development without peace, and neither without respect for human rights. As you can see from the video, if the Goals are going to succeed, everyone needs to know about them. We will end poverty and live in a world where no-one goes hungry, no one wakes in the morning, asking if there will be food today. We will fight inequality and injustice and live in a world where all women and all girls have equal opportunities. We will fix climate change and live in a world where we restore and protect the life in our oceans and seas.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Seventy years ago, the United Nations was founded on the Charter that starts with “we the peoples.”  Today, we must heed the call of the Charter, and hear the voices of “we the peoples.” 

This year, the Sustainable Development Goals revitalized the spirit that has led our works at the UN.  They lay out a new action plan for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. 

True to this spirit, the UN Country Team in Thailand has been working with the government and other partners including the private sector, academia, civil society organizations and the general public to develop a new UN Partnership Framework.  Under this new partnership framework, we will work closely with, not only the government, but also other key partners including the private sector, academia, civil society organizations and the general public.  We are committed to improving the wellbeing of everyone living in Thailand, whether they are children, migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers, indigenous men and women, people living with HIV, and those with disabilities. 

The exhibition aims to introduce the Sustainable Development Goals in Thailand, highlight their importance for Thai people, as well as commemorate the 70th anniversary of the UN through emphasizing the partnership between UN Country Team Thailand and the Royal Thai Government. This exhibition today is another example of how we hear the voices of “we the peoples”. It features interactive displays and activities on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how they compare to the MDGs. With the help of digital technologies, we are able to obtain direct feedback from the Thai people on how they want us to implement the Sustainable Development Goals in Thailand. The feedback will be important for us as they will contribute to the prioritization of the development goals for Thailand in the coming years.

Additionally, we plan to bring this exhibition around the country, so that we can engage with as many Thais as we can.

This year, the world leaders promised to meet citizens’ aspirations for peace, prosperity, and wellbeing.  I count on your support, so that we can translate these promises on paper into change on the ground.

Thank you for your participation in the opening of the Exhibition on Sustainable Development Goals.

Have a great evening

UN Day 70th Anniversary - Introduction to the SDGs in Thailand