PM to tackle climate change at UN

PM to tackle climate change at UN

Heads to New York for week-long session

PM Prayut heads to New York for week-long session. (Bangkok Post file photo)
PM Prayut heads to New York for week-long session. (Bangkok Post file photo)

With Thailand currently chairing Asean, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will put forward proposals to tackle climate change and sustainability next week at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Unga 74) in New York, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The premier will leave Thailand today and return on Friday. Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa will accompany the premier.

A senior MFA official said Gen Prayut will deliver a speech at the Climate Action Summit on behalf of the Asean chair.

"It is an initiative of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. A few events were held ahead of the premier's visit. Climate change activist Greta Thunberg led the youth climate strike today [yesterday]. Civil society groups also gathered to discuss climate issues on Sept 18-19.

"Ministers from Asean countries reached a consensus on climate change a few days ago. Accordingly, the premier will express the bloc's commitment to Unga," she said.

At the helm of the Asean chairmanship, Gen Prayut will voice the bloc's support for sustainability at the SDG Summit.

"It is the first high-level meeting since leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. They will follow up on [the agenda's] progress, after reports of potential failure emerged. We must ensure that we do not compromise resources for future generations.

"Thailand will join the UN Economic and Social Council in 2020-2022. Accordingly, we plan to promote the sufficiency economy philosophy for the SDG partnership," she said.

Gen Prayut will also tout the success of Thailand's universal health coverage system. "We are among countries which called for the high-level meeting on this issue two years ago. We can share success stories. Gold card holders can now receive medicines over the counter. We also set a good example by encouraging volunteers to provide public health services," she said.

Gen Prayut will meet UN chief Guterres and Unga president Tijjane Muhammad Bande of Nigeria. He is also scheduled to meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

During his one-week visit, the premier will deliver a speech on regional issues at the Asia Society and address the US-Asean Business Council (USABC) to assure it that the Thai government welcomes American investors, the MFA official said, adding the premier will not speak in the General Debate.

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