Remarks of Resident Coordinator in Thailand at Shaping Our Together Forum at NIDA

Remarks of Resident Coordinator in Thailand at Shaping Our Together Forum at National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) on 11 Sep 2020

It is my honour to join you today to mark the UN's partnership with NIDA, and to kickstart the dialogue on building back better with university students and the academia.

My sincere appreciation to NIDA for jointly convening this timely event. We are coming together at a crucial time as we continue to overcome the unprecedented challenges of the COVID crises and focus our collective efforts for sustainable development.   I look forward to hearing from our panel members today as your thoughts will inspire us to think more creatively about BBB while also committing ourselves to advance the SDGs in our lives and in our work. 

This dialogue is very important for the UN as we commemorate our 75 anniversary and the decade of action for achieving the SDGs. To make the SDGs a reality, the UN is engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, including yourselves, to foster collective aspiration towards sustainable development. 

Our analysis tells us that only one in four Thai people know about the SDGs. And, amongst young people, the levels of awareness is even lower. This is what we would like to change today!

Your views are important. Today, we would like to hear from you what BBB implies – what you believe should be prioritised – what you would like the UN to do more of in Thailand.

Today, there is one specific thing that each of you can do to contribute towards the Sustainability Agenda – take the one-minute online UN75 survey, to share what you believe are the priorities to build a better future. The UN needs your input and these responses will inform future policy. 

Last week, the UN along with the Global Compact Network in Thailand had brought the top business leaders together to discuss how best the private sector can advance the SDGs. The private sector together committed to contributing B1.2 trillion by 2030 towards meetings the SDGs. I believe this will go a long way in contributing to the financing gap of 50 baht per person per day, which is additionally needed to achieve the SDGs.

Last week, I also had the opportunity to meet with young social entrepreneurs from across Thailand, Japan, Singapore and Korea who are using technology-based solutions for social good, and at the same time, contributing to prosperity for those in need, such as the elderly, differently abled people, small farmers, and marginalized groups. These enterprises are often premised on principles of social justice while focusing on people at risk of being left behind. 

And today, I am meeting with you with the idea of furthering UN’s partnership for advancing SDGs and seeing how we can collaborate in the future.

While you will be hearing from UNEP and UNDP colleagues during the panel discussion, I wanted to share a little about what the UN is doing in this area.

The UN in Thailand consists of 20 UN agencies who are working bringing to bear science-based solutions, global knowledge, and technical expertise to advance SDGs. 

To BBB the UN is working with SMEs and contributing to reducing direct and indirect CO2 emissions by 8%. UN agencies are also providing technical assistance to build more than 2 million green housing units, which integrate energy efficiency and renewables. We are piloting e-mobility, introducing technology to reduce dioxins in aluminium factories, and advising on effective waste-management measures. We are also partnering with local governments to pilot community-led marine conservation strategies to protect biodiversity and expand business linkages between agriculture and sustainable tourism.

Our partnership with the Governor of Chang Rai is an example of innovation as well. We are using satellite data to track haze, forest fires and emission levels, which enables the development of science-based solutions for dealing with forest fires and biomass burning. 

It is vital, that we champion the cause of the planet, given the scale of the crisis and the pace, at which global warming is advancing. Addressing haze, reducing CO2 emissions, moving to renewables, doing away with single-use plastics, are just some of the environmental challenges that will demand action from all of us together.  

In partnership, together, we can set the trend for the region and the world.

Let me end with thanking NIDA for its partnership and creating the space for this important dialogue with all of you today. 

Speech by
Gita Sabharwal
Resident Coordinator
Ms Gita Sabharwal
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations