THAILAND yesterday won the 2016 chairmanship of the Group of 77, the largest intergovernmental organisation for developing countries at the United Nations and will push forward new development goals during it tenure, said a senior Thai diplomat.
With the chairmanship, Thailand will play a crucial role in implementing sustainable development goals, which will be adopted during the Sustainable Development Summit 2015 in the next three days, said Ambassador to Paris Apichart Chinwanno.
Apichart, who will become the Foreign Ministry permanent secretary next month, led the Thai delegation to the meeting of the Group of 77 at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday.
Established in June 1964, the Group of 77 provides the means for its members to articulate and promote their |collective interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international issues within the UN system.
Thailand aims not only to play a role in promoting South-South cooperation among developing countries but will also coordinate and be a link between developed and developing countries, Apichart said.
“We have experience and good practice in promoting sustainable development and many files such as the universal healthcare programme, disease outbreak control and disaster risk reduction,” he said.
Being the Group of 77 chair will give Thailand a chance to have a greater role in international forums and help promote the country’s status in the international community, he said.
“If we can perform well in this forum, the performance will help to boost the chances for the country to have more roles in many other functions in the UN system,” he said. Thailand will now campaign to have a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2017-18 term.
A delegation led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will do make the case during the UN development summit and the 70th session of the UN General Assembly next week.
Thailand’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Virachai Plasai, who will chair the Group of 77 at the UN in New York, said the Kingdom would not encourage developing countries to confront developed countries.
“All countries have to change. China was once a developing country but it became rich while a developed country like the US has an economic-development gap like many developing countries,” he said.
The Group of 77 needed to adjust its role, he said.