Sustainable-development forum urged to complete ‘unfinished agenda’

Friday, 30 May 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 22 By  Urasin Khantaraphan

Sixty-two nations meeting in Pattaya have an “unfinished agenda” covering poverty, health care and disaster prevention, a top Ministry of Foreign Affairs official told the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development.

Ministry Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow opened the May 19-21 meeting at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel in Pattaya, telling the more than 200 attendees that the needs of developing nations remain the forum’s most-important priority.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow (left) says said Thailand’s priorities are poverty eradication, social inequality, disaster-risk reduction and preparedness, and better access to universal health care.Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow (left) says said Thailand’s priorities are poverty eradication, social inequality, disaster-risk reduction and preparedness, and better access to universal health care.

In his opening statement, Sihasak said Thailand’s priorities are poverty eradication, social inequality, disaster-risk reduction and preparedness, and better access to universal health care.

Stressing the importance of developing countries on the group’s Post-2015 Development Agenda, the permanent secretary urged forum members to place special focus on the needs and interests of developing landlocked and island countries.

Regional cooperation is vital to the global efforts to formulate a Post-2015 Development Agenda, he said. Sihasak announced that Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states are working toward the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 vision, which could include a possibility of so-called ASEAN Development Goals. These goals would reflect the aspiration of being a people-centric ASEAN and provide an impetus to the realization of the agreed goals at the international level.

The forum, organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific was originally scheduled to be held at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, but was moved to Pattaya due to continued political unrest in the capital.

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