The U.S. Department of State and the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology convened the first Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) on Science and Technology to forge, and deepen, mutual commitments in this area. We jointly recognize Science and Technology as an engine that develops solutions to global challenges, that creates jobs and that powers our economy to help our citizens achieve their aspirations. We acknowledge that international cooperation is essential to our scientific endeavors and as such, held the JCM March 7-8, 2016 in Bangkok under the 2013 Agreement Related to Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand.
The JCM is a senior-level policy dialogue on science and technology, which provides an opportunity to exchange views on key science and technology issues and to prioritize future scientific collaborations. Weerapong Pairsuwan, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, led the Thai delegation, which consisted of 90+ scientists and policymakers. Judith Garber, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs led the U.S. delegation, which consisted of more than twenty scientists and policymakers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Departments of Agriculture, State, and Energy; the National Science Foundation; Oak Ridge National Laboratories; the U.S. Agency for International Development; the U.S. Army Medical Department; and the U.S. Geological Survey. Professor Geraldine Richmond, the U.S. Science Envoy to the Lower Mekong countries, also participated.
During the JCM, Thailand and the United States reaffirmed the key role of science and technology cooperation in the Thai-U.S. partnership. They noted successful collaboration on science, technology, and innovation through such enduring platforms as the Thai Ministry of Public Health – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Collaboration, the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), and the Thai-U.S. Creative Partnership.
Thailand and the United States committed to deepen bilateral engagement to advance scientific knowledge and technological innovation to address issues of bilateral, regional, and global significance, including global health, climate change, and environmental issues such as biodiversity conservation, clean energy development, and water resource management. They also acknowledged the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and people-to-people ties between the Thai and U.S. scientific communities.
Recognizing Thailand’s emerging regional leadership on science and technology, including through the Global Health Security Agenda, the two sides committed to explore opportunities to leverage their science and technology partnership to advance common goals in the region through such frameworks as the Lower Mekong Initiative and the ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership.
Looking forward, Thailand and the United States welcome continued, robust science and technology engagement and agreed in principle to hold the next JCM in the United States in 2018.