How Thailand can proceed with ambitious SDGs

Vitit Muntarbhorn is a Professor Emeritus of Law at Chulalongkorn University. He has helped the United Nations as a Special Rapporteur and Independent Expert.

Two years ago, the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the global community at the United Nations General Assembly to guide global development for 2015-2030, encompassing all countries. They came hot on the heels of the UN's more modest Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set for 2000-2015.

In retrospect, Thailand performed very well in fulfilling the MDGs. Several goals, such as the halving of poverty, were achieved long before 2015. The challenge now is to address the implementation of the SDGs, with a different scenario following the 2014 coup, the advent of military rule, a new constitution and possible reversion to limited civilian rule.

The SDGs are more ambitious than the MDGs and have a broader outreach. They advocate 17 goals with 169 targets such as the end to poverty and hunger, healthy lives and quality education, gender equality, sustainable management of water and sanitation, and access to energy.

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