On 15 March, Thailand’s National Steering Committee (NSC) convened for the first time following the International Conference on Family Planning’s postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NSC held a one-day meeting in Bangkok at the Ministry of Public Health to discuss national sponsorship opportunities, opening ceremony arrangements, invited sessions, and more. Members of all co-host organizations were present at the meeting. The meeting offered Thailand’s NSC members the opportunity to convene in-person once again following a hiatus due to the pandemic. Many new members of the NSC had the opportunity to meet conference organizers for the first time, while others greeted each other in a friendly exchange after not being able to meet in person.
Gates Institute Senior Program Officer Kellie Welborn provided an overview of the ICFP as an introduction for new members, and a refresher for existing members. The presentation included new information on virtual participation options for delegates.
The Gates Institute delegation reiterated its excitement to co-host the 2022 ICFP in Thailand, given the country’s impressive achievements in family planning and reproductive health. Since Thailand’s Population Policy was announced on 17 March 1970, Thailand has achieved great success in family planning programs, through collaboration with the government and non-government sectors and international organizations which work on family planning.
Other meetings of note included UNFPA’s regional and local offices, ICFP’s Media Partner FHI360, Bangkok University, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand’s Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Bangkok’s French International School, the Population and Community Development Association, and a meeting with Pattaya City Mayor Hon. Sontaya Kunplome and Managing Director of Royal Cliff Hotels Group, Mrs. Panga Vathanakul.