PERMANENT MISSION OF THAILAND
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
351 EAST 52ND STREET - NEW YORK, NY 10022
TEL (212) 754-2230 - FAX (212) 688-3029
H.E. MR. SURIN PITSUWAN
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THAILAND
HEAD OF DELEGATION
THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT OF THE UNITED NATIONS
NEW YORK, 8 SEPTEMBER 2000
Your Excellencies the Co-Presidents of the Millennium Summit,
Your Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, allow me to join all the previous speakers in congratulating Her Excellency Tarja Halonen, President of
Finland, and His Excellency Sam Nujoma, President of Namibia, on their election as Co-Presidents of this Millennium
Assembly. I also wish to commend highly the far-sighted initiative of His Excellency Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of
the United Nations, in organizing this historic Millennium Summit and in producing a most insightful report, which
serves as an excellent basis for our current deliberations.
As a whole, Thailand is supportive of the principles and recommendations laid out in the Secretary-General's timely
report, particularly the emphasis on human-centred development. I am pleased to note that this very objective of
human-centred development was the main thrust of Thailand's statement at the Fifty-fourth Session of the General
Assembly last year, which focused on human security and underscored the importance of providing our peoples with
"freedom from want" in addition to "freedom from fear".
The Secretary-General's report, "We the Peoples", rightly identifies the new challenges confronting us all as we enter a
new century. In Thailand's view, Such challenges are of far-reaching magnitude and scope, ranging from a complex
phenomenon such as globalization all the way to a straight-forward problem such as high energy and oil prices on the
present world market, which threatens to reverse the recovery process in many countries, including Thailand, as well as
adversely affect global economic stability. We in Thailand are deeply concerned about the negative repercussions of high
oil prices on the global economy. It is our earnest hope that the international community will be able to find a
mutually satisfactory resolution to this problem before it gets out of hand and possibly leads to another worldwide
In view of the immense challenges posed by globalization, Thailand believes there is a greater need than ever for a
level playing field so that developing countries can compete with the industrialized nations on a more equal footing. At
the same time, we look to the indispensable role of the United Nations as a democratic world organization that takes
into account the interests of all countries on an equal basis, acting in accordance with Its basic guiding principles
and without bias to all.
As we prepare to face the intricate challenges of the Twenty-first Century, each and every one of us must do our part to
make this a better world in which to live. As far as Thailand is concerned, we have striven to play a constructive role
and to make a meaningful contribution to global peace and prosperity. This has been manifested at the international,
regional and national levels.
In the international arena, Thailand has sought to play a pro-active role in achieving a more just and equitable global
order. In this quest, our Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, will be assuming
the post of Director- General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in September 2002. We also helped foster the "Spirit
of Bangkok" during the successful Tenth Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD X,
earlier this year in our common effort to bridge the dangerous gap between the developed and developing countries.
Along the same lines, Thailand also supports the convening of a High-level International Intergovernmental Event on
Financing for Development at the highest level possible next year, with the belief that such a conference would help
address the national, international and systemic issues relating to financing for development in a holistic manner.
In the political sphere, Thailand has strongly supported and participated in U.N. peacekeeping operations in virtually
all regions of the world. We are particularly honoured that a Thai military officer, Lieutenant General Boonsrang
Niumpradit, has been appointed Force Commander of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
Thailand also welcomes the recent release of the report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations headed by His
Excellency Lakdar Brahimi. We look forward to the implementation of many of the practical recommendations proposed by
the Panel with a view to strengthening the capacity of the U.N. to conduct efficient peacekeeping operations and mount a
quick response to potential threats to international security.
As the primary organ responsible for maintaining international peace and stability, the Security Council must also be
reformed to enable it to carry out its tasks more effectively. In line with the increased membership of and mounting
challenges to this world organization over the decades, Thailand supports the expansion of Security Council membership
in both permanent and non-permanent seats, based on the principle of equitable geographical representation and readiness
to share the responsibilities.
At the regional level, Thailand has espoused policies aimed at promoting the mutual interests and common prosperity of
all the countries in the region. In various international fora, the Thai Government has advocated "the Mekong Agenda"
with a view to fulfilling ASEAN's vision of a region in which there is "equitable economic development and reduced
poverty and socio-economic disparities." We are gratified that the just concluded session of the Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has adopted a resolution proposed by Thailand to declare this decade "the
Decade of Greater Mekong Subregion Development Cooperation, 2000-2009" and we hope the current session of the General
Assembly will also endorse it. This should help focus attention on and mobilize necessary resources for the development
of this subregion.
Thailand has also placed great emphasis on the promotion of human resource development in the region as an important
means of advancing economic and social development as well as alleviating poverty. It is our firm conviction that an
investment in human resources constitutes a significant part of holistic and sustainable development, which will yield
huge dividends over the long term and create a knowledge-based society capable of meeting the challenges of the new
At the national level, Thailand has been guided and inspired by the wisdom of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose
philosophy of a "Sufficiency Economy" serves as the blueprint for the country's economic and social development path.
While the main focus in many countries over the past decades has been to achieve faster growth at all costs, His Majesty
has cautioned that it should be adequate for the Thai people to achieve an economy that is self-supporting, with the
generated wealth equitably shared by the entire nation. In coping with present-day economic pressures, a country and its
people should try to live within their means, in moderation and without extravagance. It is therefore Thailand's
conviction that such a philosophy could be one of the keys to achieving genuine human development and security by
offering us guidance on how to avoid the senseless accumulation of wealth, the degradation of the environment, and the
exploitation of women, children and the vulnerable. We place particular emphasis on promoting the welfare of our
children, who are our most valuable resource and who constitute our main hope for the future.
In closing, I would like to reiterate Thailand's support for the Secretary-General's millennium report and our pledge to
work with the international community in realizing the practical recommendations contained in it. It is our earnest hope
that the outcome of the deliberations at this historic Millennium Summit will help chart a new course for closer
partnership among all nations, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society groups,
parliaments, and private corporations in the quest for a better and brighter future for all of us and for our posterity.