Thailand attaches great importance to the concept of sustainable development which has long taken root in the country. The country has been guided by the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP), conceived by His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. SEP has been adopted as the core principle of National Economic and Social Development Plan since 2002. The current constitution has integrated SEP and sustainable development as integral parts. The development approach based on SEP is in conformity with the core principle of the 2030 Agenda and can serve as an approach to support the realization of the SDGs.
MAINSTREAMING THE SDGS
SEP and SDGs have been integrated into the 20 – Year National Strategy Framework and the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017 – 2021). As a result, plans and budgeting of all government agencies will be in line with SEP and SDGs.
NATIONAL MECHANISM FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The National Committee for Sustainable Development (CSD), chaired by the Prime Minister, is Thailand’s main and highest mechanism responsible for the country’s sustainable development. It has 37 members from public, private academia and civil society, with the Secretary-General of National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) as the secretariat.The main task of CSD is formulating polices and strategies on national sustainable development and oversight their implementation, including the SDGs. It has established three sub-committees to advance the three inter – connected processes namely mobilizing the SDGs, raising awareness on sustainable development and the application of SEP, and compiling data and statistics to support the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda. Three taskforces were established and respectively tasked with (1) reviewing and recommending legal, economics and social measures necessary for achieving the SDGs; (2) coordinating works by numerous agencies, and priority setting; and (3) preparing report on Thailand’s progress, challenges, and recommendation in implementing the 2030 Agenda including the VNR.
KEY PROGRESS BY THE CSD
CSD has undertaken several steps to advance the SDGs implementation including establishing coordinating body for each of the SDGs, formulating roadmaps for all 17 SDGs, identifying 30 priority targets, synthesizing examples of SEP for SDGs model projects, examining gaps and discrepancies between the national baselines and the proposed global indicators.
RAISING SDGS AWARENESS AND CREATING OWNERSHIP
Representatives of private sector, academia and CSOs were invited to be in the CSD and its subsidiaries. Several rounds of stakeholders’ engagement has been conducted including with the private sector, CSO of various constituencies, youth as well as the members of National Legislative Assembly. As a result, these stakeholders are making contributions in accordance with their respective roles and expertise. Global Compact Network Thailand and other private entities are very active in mainstreaming SDGs and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into business operations. CSOs organized their own SDGs regional forums to present their views, concerns, and priorities under the SDGs. The CSOs have also produced their own VNR reports to supplement the Government’s VNR report. Their inputs as well as contributions from other stakeholders will further synergize Thailand’s efforts to achieve the SDGs.
VOLUNTARY NATIONAL REVIEW – A PROCESS
Thailand views the VNR as a process to engage and to create ownership more than a report-making exercise.The VNR taskforce comprises lead agencies of 17 SDGs and the National Statistical Office. Several rounds of consultations were conducted to gather relevant information. The content of the report derived from two processes: assessing progress and learning from communities.The report provides a snapshot of significant progress in 2016 together with approaches and good practices applied in 17 SDGs, especially the SEP for SDGs model projects studied and selected from diverse areas and sectors, as well as challenges faced in achieving some of the goals. Background on data collection and indicators together with statistical annex are also presented.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as chair of VNR Taskforce in collaboration with local universities, organized regional engagement sessions to update stakeholders on the national SDGs implementation and gather their views on how the country should proceed to achieve the SDGs. Greater awareness and ownership have been generated along the process and the report drafting taskforce actually has gotten to appreciate local wisdom and community strength and learned more.
Learn more about Thailand progress of each Goal at UN Sustainable Knowledge Platform