The Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, in collaboration with the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD), C asean, and ThaiBev organised the SUSTAINABILITY TALKS: Towards a Green ASEAN on 19th January 2024 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. The event features a Special Talk by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, President of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Sofa Interview conducted by Dr. Nattha Komolvadhin, News Director, THE STANDARD on pathways towards a future of ‘Green ASEAN’.
Fostering cooperations and partnership for Sustainable Development was a key issue strongly emphasised throughout the event. During his opening remarks, Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs reiterated Thailand’s commitment, as the ASEAN Coordinator for Sustainable Development Cooperation, to foster regional cooperation towards building a green and resilient future in line with the upcoming ASEAN Vision 2045. On the other hand, Mr. Polapatr Suvarnazorn, Vice Chairman of C asean stressed the importance of building partnerships among all sectors to achieve our common goals on sustainable development.
In his Special Talk, Professor Sachs underlined the importance of regional cooperation as a tool towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals and addressing climate change, particularly when we have just encountered the hottest year on record in 2023. The Asia-Pacific, in Professor Sachs’ view, is the fastest growing region with manufacturing capacity, technological know-how, and clean energy sources – all of which are good news for regional growth. Therefore, it is of the region’s interest to create a peaceful environment conducive to regional growth instead of competitions. Thailand could benefit from regional cooperations within ASEAN, or even more so, from countries in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Professor Sachs also opined the importance of having a clear goal and systematic planning to achieve such goals. Particularly on Sustainable Development, 6 key areas should be taken into account including Quality Education, Effective Healthcare System, Clean Energy Transition, Sustainable Agriculture, Urban Infrastructure, and Digital Platform. All of which serve as representation to building human capacity, infrastructures, and platforms necessary for the regional achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.