UNDP chief holds talks in Bangkok on Thailand's move from aid recipient to donor

UNDP chief holds talks in Bangkok on Thailand's move from aid recipient to donor

The new head the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is in Thailand to discuss with senior Thai officials the country's status as an emerging donor.

"Because of its enlightened economic policies, Thailand is on track not only to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but to surpass most of the targets in its efforts to improve the lives of its citizens," UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis said.

The MDGs seek to slash a host of socio-economic ills such as extreme poverty and hunger, maternal and infant mortality and lack of health care and access to education, all by 2015.

Mr. Dervis will hold discussions with key government officials and leading Thai academics on aid, trade and investment in reducing poverty throughout the region.

"Thailand now has the opportunity to further diversify its development cooperation and increase the proportion of Thai aid going to the social sectors such as health, education, community development and poverty reduction," UNDP Resident Representative Joana Merlin-Scholtes said. "These are areas in which the South East Asian kingdom has much to offer other countries."

Before coming to Thailand, Mr. Dervis visited India where he met with senior government officials to discuss financing mechanisms for India's human development, and other matters.

From Thailand he will go to Pakistan where he will join Secretary-General Kofi Annan in opening an international conference in support of earthquake victims there.