Statement of Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand at the Summit for Democracy, 20 March 2024

Statement of Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand at the Summit for Democracy, 20 March 2024

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Statement of H.E. Mr. Srettha Thavisin

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand

at the Summit for Democracy, 20 March 2024

 

It is with great honour and a deep sense of responsibility that I stand before you today, representing Thailand for the first time at the Summit for Democracy.

Last year general elections in Thailand and the establishment of a civilian-led government signify a significant step towards reinforcing our democratic values. My administration is dedicated to strengthening democratic institutions within our borders and prioritising democracy, the rule of law, and human rights both at home and in our foreign relations.

Today, democracy confronts global challenges: rising inequality and social media’s divisive influence. Without our unity, a peaceful democratic future is at risk. Allow me to elaborate on these pressing challenges.

First, democracy needs good governance, citizen participation, inclusive society, the rule of law, and human rights. A successful democracy must be able to address the multi-dimensional needs of the people, consisting of civil and political rights, as well as social, economic and cultural rights. While acknowledging the challenges and limitations inherited from the recent past, my government remains committed to promoting such rights, building upon achievements like "Universal Health Coverage" and "Education for All". Most importantly, I'm proud of the progress of our "Marriage Equality Bill", currently in the parliament which will help promote greater social inclusivity and equality.

Second, democracy is an ongoing process, not a final destination. It requires continuous effort and nurturing to be sustainable. To fulfil our people’s expectations, democracy must adapt and evolve. For nations with the scars of setbacks in democracy, managing public expectations and nurturing democratic progress is an ongoing endeavour that demands unwavering commitment.

Third, there is no one–size–fits–all democracy, but the democratic principle must be ONE and universal. As much as we believe in its values, there are diverse forms of democracy and political systems around the world. All of us are facing common global and inter-generational challenges, ranging from climate change and the environment to the digital divide. What the world needs now is greater international cooperation, stronger multilateralism, and more humanitarian cooperation.

I would like to conclude by saying that we, the leaders, must always listen to and respect people’s will. Leaders also have to hear more from the younger ones. After all, that is how we can best ensure that democracy will continue to thrive and serve as an essential foundation for the betterment of our future generations.

 

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