In May 2006, Kofi Annan, then secretary-general of the UN, travelled to Thailand to present King Bhumibol Adulyadej with the first-ever UN Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award. During his presentation of this great honour, the secretary-general praised not only the king’s “extraordinary contribution” to human development, but also what Annan described as the monarch’s visionary thinking. This latter remark referred to the economic and social philosophy which the king has pieced together,…
From The Report: Thailand 2016
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In what became known as a foundation speech for the idea of the sufficiency economy, in December 1997, the king said that what was important was not being a “tiger” but having “a sufficient economy” to take care of the whole population. The sufficiency economy places sustainability at the very core of its thinking, advancing a different approach from that of short-term, shareholder value-centred ideas of economic development. The take-up of this philosophy has also placed the country at the forefront of studies in sustainability, while also providing the world with some remarkable blueprints and success stories. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Kasem Watanachai, Privy Counsellor.