United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam

Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations
on behalf of the Troika of Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam
at the Tenth Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
Cluster 2: Gender equality and women’s empowerment, education, employment and decent work for all, and health and population dynamics
1 April 2014
Mr. Co-Chairs,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Troika consisting of Bhutan, Viet Nam, and my country, Thailand. We associate ourselves with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Bolivia on behalf of the G77 and China.
On Focus area 3: Health and population dynamics. According to Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, universal health coverage (UHC) is “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer”. Universal healthcare has proved to contribute to poverty reduction, decrease in internal income inequalities, stronger workforce and overall national socio-economic development in many developing countries. In this regard, we recommend that, on a non-silo basis, principle of universal health coverage be mainstreamed, as appropriate, to address these on-going challenges in the SDG framework, in line with the “no one size fits all” approach. Strengthening of national health system through strong national ownership policies with support of UN is an important platform towards achieving a more equitable healthcare and sustainable development.
The unfinished agenda of MDGs on the prevention of maternal and child mortality as well as HIV/AIDS reduction and tuberculosis and malaria control must be carried forward. In addition, attention must also be given to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which claim millions of lives each year
We, therefore, propose the following targets to be considered:
(i) Provide universal health coverage for all by 2030 with focus on primary healthcare;
(ii) Drastically reduce infant and under-five mortality rate;
(iii) Eliminate preventable child and maternal deaths, particularly through access to sexual reproductive health services, and
(iv) Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and the incidence of malaria, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases and reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases.

Mr. Co-Chairs,
On Focus area 4: Education. We believe that education is inexplicably linked to development and security. Therefore, we would like to see strong global partnership on education through support in capacity building and training, scholarships, research and development, and transfer of knowledge on a mutual beneficial basis be included in the means of implementation.
In that regard, we propose the following targets:
(i) universal and free quality primary and secondary education for girls and boys of relevant school age;
(ii) Increase the provision of and access to vocational training, especially for the young, to equip them with necessary skills for quality employment.

On Focus area 5: Gender equality and women’s empowerment. We are very pleased that the Co-Chairs have underlined the use of gender disaggregated data and gender responsive budgeting.
In this connection, we envision including the following targets:
(i) End all forms of discrimination and violence against women of all ages;
(ii) Ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed in all relevant national laws and policies, and
(iii) Ensure equal rights of women to access to assets and resources and employment opportunities.
Mr. Co-Chairs,
Finally, on Focus area 11: Employment and decent work for all. We fully support efforts to increase labour participation of persons with disabilities and women. As we move towards disability-inclusive development, we firmly believe that training and accessibility measures for persons with disabilities in labour markets should be given more emphasis.
Possible targets could include:
(i) Increase the creation of decent jobs for all including those most vulnerable
(ii) Increase the number of people in working age with the appropriate skills for productive and decent employment
(iii) Increase non-farm employment opportunities.
Thank you.