09/30/2015, 00.00
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Thai premier to UN: poverty and social inequality greatest threats

by Weena Kowitwanij
Prayut or Cha-cha-spoke to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on September 25. Although in recent years the percentage of poor people in the country has dropped, there is still a major economic imbalance: "The government must ensure equal opportunities for all". Road to development is the so-called "self-sufficient economy", promoted by King Bhumibol Adulyadej decades ago

New York (AsiaNews) - Overcoming poverty, eliminating social inequalities, restoring the self-sufficient economy philosophy of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. These are some of the goals highlighted in the speech that the Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, addressed on the 25th September to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations, within the discussion "Stop poverty and hunger".

Despite the number of people living below the poverty line having fallen steadily in Thailand over the past decade - from 42% in 2000 to 10.53% in 2014 - according to the head of government social inequality is still important factor, resulting from unbalanced economic structure and the fact that only a minority of the population owns most of the land and natural resources of the country.

Over the past 50 years, Thailand has increased the income of the poorest sections with the policy of "One Tambno One Product" ("a product for each district") and ensuring access to loans through public funds.

Addressing the world community, Prayut Chan-o-cha assured that his government will act to create equal opportunities for all citizens, so that everyone has adequate access to resources: "We will not abandon anyone and no one will be allowed to use power for the good of politicians, improperly appropriating resources from the majority of the Thai population. This - said the prime minister - is the injustice that leads to corruption and the source of the perennial conflicts and divisions of modern society in Thailand”.

To solve social and economic problems of the country, the head of the ruling military junta promised a reform plan that included a new constitution (a draft of which was rejected a few days ago) in harmony with the context of the country that gives all citizens the opportunity to participate in the development process of the next five years, to create a "stable government, a healthy population, a sustainable community". It is the government’s responsibility, said Prayut, to enact laws allowing everyone to have equal opportunities in education, healthcare and social services (including the justice system).

The Prime Minister has made explicit reference to the philosophy of self-sufficient economy promoted by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, as inspiration to enable Thailand to keep pace with global development. The king’s philosophy is that development "should be carried out step by step," not.rushed into. The first objective is to ensure the country a self-sufficient economy and that all people can live in dignity.

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