United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Troika (Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam)

At the Second Session of the General Assembly Open Working Group on
Sustainable Development Goals
(New York, 17 -19 April, 2013)
Poverty Eradication
Mr. Co-Chairs,
I have the honor to make these remarks on behalf of the Troika consisting of
Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam. I would also like to associate our Troika with the
statement delivered by Fiji as Chair of the Group of 77 and China
We are pleased to note that poverty eradication is the first substantive matter to be
discussed. We all attach most importance to eradicating poverty which is at heart
of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and a key enabler for
developing countries to achieve other goals. Thus it must remain the overriding
objective of the Sustainable Development Goals.
At the global scale, the first MDG on eradicating extreme poverty has achieved
encouraging results. We have gained more experience and have the advantage to
further extend our collective efforts in the fight against poverty. At the same time,
there remain gaps, obstacles and challenges. Current crises such as the global
financial and economic slowdown, natural disasters, social vulnerabilities, food,
energy and water crises place developing countries especially LDCs and LLDCS in
extremely vulnerable positions and their efforts to eradicate poverty are negatively
affected. This requires us to build resilience to multiple and simultaneous shocks to
ensure the substantial and sustainable reduction of poverty.
Mr. Co-Chairs,
Poverty has become a more complex and multifaceted problem as constantly
changing characteristics of the poor requires efforts to reduce poverty to be equally
responsive, adaptive and sophisticated. In this connection, Bhutan, Thailand and
Viet Nam wish to share the following observations and comments:
First, the level of poverty reduction varies across geographic and demographic
groups due to different levels of social and economic integration. In many
countries, poverty occurs predominantly among people living in rural and remote
areas. In others, urban poverty is of great concern. We are of the view that putting
people at the centre should be the foundation of any poverty reduction policy.
Governments should focus their support in multiple socio-economic aspects
specifically for the most vulnerable groups who lag behind in poverty reduction.
Second, there is a disturbing fact that most of the developing and especially leastdeveloped
countries are countering persistent poverty with unsustainable economic
growth. Conventional growth patterns involve intensive/exhaustive uses of natural
resources (land, water, forest and fossil fuel) and cheap or low-skilled labor that
lead to the evident increases of pressures on environment, number of natural
disasters, inequality, job vulnerability and fiscal deficit. In this regard, the
transformation into a green economy which supports social inclusiveness and
environmental sustainability and in consistence with the level of development is
recommended for every nation in the context of sustainable development and
poverty eradication.
Third, social development would not be sufficient if people could not fulfill their
basic needs. Vulnerable employment, especially in the context of economic crisis
and globalization is an increasingly grave issue, threatening people to fall back into
poverty. Disadvantaged groups are still suffering from inequality and chronic
poverty and social problems such as food (and nutrition) insecurity, gender
inequality, poor health and education. Therefore access to adequate social
protection is essential.
Last but not least, natural disasters and climate change are among the highest
threats to the poor. To avoid them falling further into a vicious circle of poverty,
governments and the international community need to build resilience among poor
and vulnerable people and support them in adaptation to adverse impacts of natural
disasters and climate change.
In order to achieve all these, means of implementation is very important. Our
governments have spared no efforts to combat poverty at the national level over the
past 20-30 years. We could not have attained so much success without the
invaluable support from multiple partners in the international. We are fully aware
that internal orientation of policies, efforts and resources are decisive but cannot
ignore the importance of coordination and assistance from other international
partners. We need a favorable international economic environment to facilitate
sustainable global economic growth and poverty eradication. This requires a fair,
equitable, transparent and rules-based system of international trade that is prodevelopment
and against protectionist trends arising nowadays.
The MDGs look at issues across the board, thus inequality has been neglected. I
believe addressing inequality should be a main deliverable for new set of
development agenda and many delegations have raised the issue of addressing
inequality within the country and among countries. In this context, we support
regional integration and regional connectivity as one important means to achieve
reduction of poverty and inequality and close the development gaps, especially for
LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS.
At the global level, the international community needs to remain committed to
eradicating poverty not with and “one-size-fits-all” approach but in diverse forms
of implementation, from development aid to trade facilitation, debt relief and
technical transfer, infrastructure development with particular attention attached to
countries in special circumstances such as the LDCs and landlocked countries.
Bhutan, Thailand and Viet Nam reaffirm our strong commitment to engage in
international efforts on sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Thank you, Mr. Co-Chairs.