Pattaya Daily News

26 May 2006 :: 20:05:35 pm 30334

His Majesty the King and Human Development

Mr. Kofi Anan, United Nations Secretary-General, accompanying by his wife, visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver a keynote address to the High-Level Panel on “His Majesty the King and Human Development”
Advertise Here

On 26 May 2006, Mr. Kofi Anan, United Nations Secretary-General, accompanying by his wife, visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver a keynote address to the High-Level Panel on “His Majesty the King and Human Development” on the occasion of visiting Thailand to present the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award to His Majesty the King in recognition of His Majesty’s dedication and life-long works in contribution to the development of the Thai people. It marked the very first time such a special lifetime achievement award is initiated and His Majesty the King is the first recipient to receive this honour.

General Prem Tinsulanonda, President of the Privy Council and Statesman, delivered opening remarks. Mr. Kofi Anan, United Nations Secretary General, gave a keynote address to praise His Majesty the King his development works and contribution to human development on this special occasion. Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Dr. Kantathi Suphamongkhon, Foreign Minister also addressed on this occasion.

Participants at the High-Level Panel discussion on sufficiency economy and the development of Thailand included Dr. Chiraya Israngkun Na Ayuthaya, Director Geneneral, Bureau of the Crown Property, Ms. Pim Totankum, representative of Sakhon Nakorn province, Ms. Elizabeth Fong, Regional Manager, UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok.

At the end of the Panel’s first session, President of the Privy Council and Statesman, UN Secretary-General and Madame, Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, Deputy Prime Minister and Dr. Kantathi Suphamongkhon, Foreign Minister viewed the Exhibition on His Majesty the King and Human Development and the Award. After that UN Secretary-General departed to the Government House for a meeting with the Prime Minister. In the evening on the same day, UN Secretary-General will have an audience with His Majesty the King to present the UNDP Lifetime Achievement Award at Klai Kangwon Palace.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose 60th anniversary to the throne is being celebrated today, has provided leadership, inspiration and wisdom to Thai people through the years. He has devoted himself to the development of Thailand in many areas, particularly aimed at strengthening the community to the self-supporting level. The frequent visits of the king to the countryside of Thailand, with a camera around his neck and holding a map, is familiar to all Thais.

In the first decade of his reign, the king’s attention was drawn to the medical and social welfare development because medical and public health services in Thailand required substantial improvement. He donated his personal funds for the production of vaccines against tuberculosis and for research to create a low-cost saline production machine for medical treatment, which helped reduce imports.

Following his return to Thailand after finishing his studies in Switzerland, the king, accompanied by the queen, in 1951 began to travel to every corner of the Kingdom, visiting his subjects and learning their problems. He surveyed soil and water conditions in various areas and found that farmers, who represent the majority of the country, faced problems in terms of agricultural production. The king decided to lay emphasis on solution to agricultural development problems, and that was how numerous royal development projects were launched.

The concept of his development work is to help people to help themselves. He said that the development of the country must be carried out in stages. Good foundations must be laid to ensure that the majority of people have enough to eat and to live on. When the foundation becomes stable, higher levels of progress and economic prosperity can be attained. If only fast economic progress was the focus without action, plans implemented in accordance with the conditions of the country and the people, an imbalance in various aspects would cause difficulties and might bring about failure in the end, as seen from many countries currently facing serious economic problems.

In one of his speeches, the king urged the people “not to make efforts with haste just for the sake of novelty. In fact, nothing is really new and all novelties are just the continuation of the old.” The king pointed out that it was very important to help people earn enough to live on, as those who were self-reliant would certainly be able to contribute to the higher levels of development on a gradual basis.

The principle of gradual enhancement of development with caution and economical means would help achieve success and prevent mistakes and failure. It is obvious that the king developed and promoted many projects on the basis of the real conditions of the locality including topographical situation, climatic conditions and lifestyles of the inhabitants. A major component of the royal strategy was the Royal Development Study Center, set up in six different agro-ecological zones of the country.

Another major principle of the royal development projects is the concept of people’s participation in policy-making, not just the recipients of projects. The king even held public hearings on the projects by himself. It can be concluded that common understanding is first reached about the project, leading to agreed terms by all sides, and resulting in a project that benefits the majority of residents in the locality. This is part of the mission of the Thai king, who seeks to promote the country and to bring prosperity to the people.

On the eve of his birthday in 1991, the king said in his royal address: “Our Loss is Our Gain.” “Economists may disagree with me, but I can explain myself. We have to give up or lose something, so that we can reap the benefits of our gain later…. If we are all united in our belief of giving and unity, then our country will be successful in its development efforts. Besides, people’s well-being can never be defined in monetary terms….,” he said.

His principle of “Our Loss Is Our Gain” has become now a well-known adage, and being successfully implemented in various places. Another principle of the royal projects is community empowerment for self-reliance, as mentioned by the king as “implosion”. Such an inner strength makes families and communities ready and burst inward. Thus, local wisdom, cooperation and unity can be used to empower the community, and extended to outside communities.

For the king, knowledge and innovation are essential for the advancement of human development. Through the creation of centers for development across the country, the king has put great emphasis on applied research and experimentation that are relevant to the diverse socio-geographic conditions across Thailand’s regions. Over the years, the king has displayed a deep and unwavering commitment to democracy, peace, justice, and national harmony.

His reign has provided a pillar of stability during this fast changing period of Thailand. As upholder of all religions, the king gives equal attention to the protection of all forms of worships and to the interests of all religious communities in Thailand.

The king’s ingenuity is development work is widely recognized. He initiated the concept of “Sufficiency Economy” as the key to sustainable development. Beyond the national context, the philosophy of Sufficiency Economy was acclaimed by the international community at the 10th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in February 2000, which expressly recognized the king as the “Developer King”

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

Comments in News


The messages you read here are opinions from the public and posted into the Forum automatically. The systems owner is not responsible for any content in the Forum or any comments posted. There is no proof that the contents posted are genuine or not, even if the name of the poster is real, th erefore, please use common sense when reading the Forum. If there are topics which are against the law or immoral, please contact