15 JULY 2004
Secretary-General, in Bangkok Remarks, Praises Thailands Remarkable Success in Reaching Anti-Poverty Goals
NEW YORK, 14 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following are Secretary-General Kofi Annans remarks on receiving the Thailand Millennium Development Goals Report from the Prime Minister of Thailand in Bangkok, 13 July:
Allow me to congratulate the Royal Thai Government on Thailands first Millennium Development Goals Report, as endorsed by your Cabinet on 22 June.
This report is eloquent testimony to Thailands remarkable success in reaching most, if not all, MDG targets well ahead of schedule.
It illustrates why Thailand is a source of inspiration for the campaign worldwide to reach the Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015.
Thailand is also to be commended for setting ambitious MDG-Plus targets, going well beyond those agreed internationally. I wish you and your government every success in your efforts to reach them.
Equally impressive is your Governments vision for Thailands contribution to the global partnership for development.
Through South-South cooperation, Thailand plays a crucial role in sharing with other countries its experience of what it takes to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
And by opening your markets to least developed countries in the region and beyond, you are contributing through trade and investment to human development in those countries.
You have been very candid in your assessment of the many continuing challenges facing Thailand in its pursuit of the ambitious MDG-Plus targets. Let me mention two concerns highlighted in your report.
Inequity among regions and groups within Thailand continues to require special attention. That includes the relative poor performance of provinces in the far north and far south, with higher poverty levels and poorer health outcomes than in the rest of the country.
HIV/AIDS is another area of special concern, given the many warning signs of a possible resurgence of the epidemic. Your continued leadership is crucial in making sure that past successes do not lead to complacency, and that Thailand holds on to its distinction as the first country to have reached the sixth Millennium Development Goal -- reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Prime Minister, Thailands approach to the Millennium Development Goals speaks to your personal commitment to achieving real and measurable improvements in the lives of your citizens. I hope that many countries around the world will be able to follow Thailands example. Thank you very much.
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