On the 23 September, 2016, Tonga’s Prime Minister, Hon Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva was invited to speak at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77.
The high-level plenary meeting was paneled by four distinguished figures, namely the current G77 Chair, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha; the President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Peter Thomson; the Secretary General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and the Administrator of the UNDP, H.E. Ms Helen Clark.
At the outset, the Prime Minister congratulated and expressed the appreciation of the Kingdom of Tonga to the Kingdom of Thailand for its exemplary leadership as Chair of the G77 and assured its support to the incoming Chair (Ecuador) of the Group of 77 in 2017.
The Prime Minister also acknowledged the benefits that the Kingdom of Tonga received from participating in the “Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP), which was articulated and championed by His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.
Moreover, Tonga was provided the opportunity to successfully apply SEP in its agriculture and community development, through a project launched earlier in the year by the Crown Prince of Tonga, at one of the Royal Estate compounds.
This three-year pilot project serves as a demonstration for sustainable agriculture development based on sufficiency economy, funded by the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), and initiated during the tenure of His Majesty, King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga. TICA will provide experts and training both in the Kingdom of Tonga and Thailand. The project is a joint initiative of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Royal Palace Office, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Forestry.
Such cooperation and partnership will greatly contribute towards the well-being and welfare of the people of Tonga. Tonga’s partnership with members of the Group of 77 and People’s Republic of China will continue to strengthen South-South Cooperation and Global Partnership for the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda.