Press statement by Michelle Bachelet in Bangkok, Thailand

Date: Thursday, December 6, 2012

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet holds a press conference in Thailand on 6 December 2012. Photo Credit: UN Women/Piyavit Thongsa-Ard

Press statement by Michelle Bachelet at Press Briefing at UN Building, Bangkok, Thailand.

[Sawasdee Kha] Good Afternoon, Thank you very much for being here this afternoon.

First, I would like to extend my best wishes to His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the occasion of his 85th Birthday and to her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family of Thailand.

This is my first visit to Thailand as UN Women's Executive Director. This is a visit I have been looking forward to for some time. Thailand is at once an ancient civilization and a modern, vibrant country. It is a pleasure to be here.

I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on her achievement of being the first female Prime Minister of Thailand.

I also wish to express UN Women's appreciation to Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha, who has been UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador since 2008. Her advocacy catalyzed large scale support from the people of Thailand for the “UN Women Say NO-UNiTE to End Violence against Women initiative. Educational efforts in schools have focused on engaging youth at an early stage.

Massive awareness campaigns have reached every corner of the country, including through participation of the private sector.

Thai judges and police cadets have embarked on the first-ever trainings to end violence against women and girls.

The Justice sector agencies and national women's machineries have developed inter-sectoral agency guidelines for judicial personnel and the police to ensure full implementation of the Domestic Violence Act. This also includes a piloting of courts in which women do not need to face perpetrators during court proceedings.

Government Ministries have come together in a formal agreement to improve access to services for survivors. One Stop Crisis Centers have spread to 750 provincial and district hospitals.

I am proud that we are a partner of the Government of Thailand in developing a National Action Plan on ending violence against women.

I am also delighted that Thailand is a member of the Commission on the Status of Women, the intergovernmental body that sets international norms and standards on gender equality, women's empowerment and women's rights.

In 2013, the theme of the CSW 57th Session 4-15 March 2013 is “Elimination and Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls.

Through its participation in this session, the government of Thailand will be able to share its impressive track record in prevention and protection. It will be able to contribute to the Commission's conclusions and reflect the global community's responsibility to guarantee a life free of violence for women and girls.

With the establishment of UN Women's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in 2012 in Bangkok, UN Women will now be able to work more closely in partnership with the Government and with civil society.

We are also looking forward to continuing our joint work in other areas, including review and development of legislation and legislative trainings for government agencies to ensure equality of opportunity and non-discrimination on the basis of sex and gender.

The Thai Women's Empowerment Fund which was established by the Prime Minister is an important resource for women seeking to strengthen their productive capacities and to innovate in the economic sector. UN Women stands ready to provide technical support to the management of the Fund.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the Royal Government of Thailand on its membership to the UN Women Executive Board. As a member of the Executive Board, the government of Thailand will guide our work globally and move our partnership forward.

I thank the people and Government of Thailand for their commitment and support to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Thank you. And I look forward to answering your questions.