Top Stories : Statement of the Prime Minister of Thailand at the Third United Nations World Conference  on Disaster Risk Reduction News

Top Stories : Statement of the Prime Minister of Thailand at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

 

Statement

by

           His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.),

            Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand,

            at the Third United Nations World Conference

on Disaster Risk Reduction,

Sendai, Japan, 14 March 2015

 

 

Mr. President,
Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished participants,

On behalf of the Government and the people of Thailand, I wish to congratulate the Government and the people of Japan for hosting this historic Conference.
I thank you for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to my delegation.

On this occasion, I also join in remembering the Great East Japan Earthquake whose fourth anniversary was just three days ago. I wish to convey once again our condolences and our solidarity with the Government of Japan and our Japanese brothers and sisters, in particular, the relatives of those who lost their lives or sustained injuries in the earthquake.

 

I come here to reaffirm Thailand’s readiness and firm commitment to cooperate with the international community in all dimensions to achieve disaster risk reduction.

The Royal Thai Government has always attached great importance to implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action. We are honored to have hosted the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in June 2014 as a regional preparatory meeting for this Conference.

The Asia-Pacific region is the world’s most natural disaster-prone area. The outcome of the Bangkok meeting thus serves as a solid basis for the deliberation of the new cooperation framework.


 

Distinguished participants,

Over the past ten years, Thailand has been both an affected country and a donor country. Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, the Great flood in Thailand, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines all serve to remind us that we cannot be complacent. A disaster in one place could have an adverse impact on many other countries, especially in today's interconnected world economy.

What we have learned from the Great Flood in Thailand in 2011 is that prevention and preparedness are the most cost-effective investment.

The Royal Thai Government has pushed forward a sustained and integrated  water management system. We have been working on infrastructure improvement, environmental conservation, reducing littering in waterways, dredging canals and rivers, including learning from His Majesty the King’s initiatives, such as the Kaem Ling Project that stores excess water for future use.

Our past experiences have shown us that to reduce disaster risks, we must have advanced planning, clear and practical standard operating procedures to deliver humanitarian assistance. Such procedures must include timely funding mechanisms, relief supplies, medical services, evacuation routes, emergency assembly points, 
shelters, both short and long term, technologies and equipments which are ready to be deployed and up to date, vehicles, helicopter landing areas.


Disaster relief must take into account domestic legal framework and local culture in each country. All sectors must conduct regular training and exercises in order to ensure effective delivery of assistance during time of crises. Database of humanitarian relief workers and relief supplies must be utilized to guarantee that humanitarian action will be timely, effective and avoid duplication of efforts.

Countries should develop networks, hotlines, leaders’ communication channels and points of contact for effective information sharing and timely warning. An interconnected early warning system both intra-regional and interregional should be developed through satellite and other technologies. Social media can help disseminate information to the public, especially to vulnerable and at-risk groups, such as women, children, persons with disabilities, the elderly   and migrant workers, to ensure that they are adequately protected and have access to necessary information.

The private sector must ensure that their investments show responsibility to the society and to the environment.  Investment must not harm nature nor future generations. Waterways must not be blocked by any building structures that might later cause flooding. Investment must not destroy natural resources.

Civil society and academia must support government both at central and local levels. They must help ensure transparency and effectiveness in delivery of assistance. At the same time, they must help create public awareness and cultivate a culture of preparedness and disaster risk reduction.


 

Distinguished participants,

Nations have different development capacities. Therefore, international cooperation and development partnership are essential to capacity building, mobilization of resources, and technology transfer.

 

Disaster is a high priority issue for ASEAN. We are committed to implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action through the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. The establishment of the ASEAN plus Three Rice Reserve is meant to alleviate the suffering of the people affected by ensuring that no food shortage will occur in times of natural disasters.
 

In the wider Asia-Pacific region, the ESCAP Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness is a good example. Thailand is proud to be one of the co-founders of this Trust Fund.
 


Thailand has been fortunate to be guided by His Majesty the King’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy. The philosophy emphasizes the need for sustainable living with nature and building a strong and resilient community.


His Majesty teaches us not to disturb the balance of nature. If we overly exploit nature, we will be harming the environment and the planet. If the environment is destroyed, it will take a long time to heal and recover.

Thank you.

 

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