Top Stories : Statement of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand  during the High-Level Segment of the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council News

Top Stories : Statement of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand during the High-Level Segment of the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council

Statement

by

H.E. General Tanasak Patimapragorn

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

of the Kingdom of Thailand

during

The High-Level Segment

of the Twenty-Eighth Session of the Human Rights Council

2 March 2015

Geneva

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Mr. President,

High Commissioner,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I am honoured to be here at the United Nations in Geneva and to address the Human Rights Council for the first time on an issue to which I attach high importance and is one of the top priorities for my Government.

 

Mr. President,

 

Human rights are integral to our lives.  They belong to each and every one of us.  Respect for human rights must begin at home, in school, in the workplace,  in the community, in public space, in fact, everywhere.  What we must take into account, however, is that each society has its own contexts, ones which are not easy for insiders to untangle, nor for outsiders to understand. Therefore, we must be careful not to take human rights for granted.

 

Human rights exercised in the most extreme manner may come at a high price, especially in unstable or deeply divided societies. It may even lead such societies to the brink of collapse.  And in such situations, it is the most vulnerable in societies who suffer the most.

 

Freedom of expression without responsibility, without respect for the rights of others, without respect for differences in faiths and beliefs, without recognizing cultural diversity, can lead to division, and often, to conflict and hatred.  Such is the prevailing situation of our world today.    So we must all ask ourselves what we could and should do about it.

 

Mr. President,

 

Thailand believes in the Human Rights Council.  We will continue to support the Council’s work in every way possible.  We have long advocated the importance of technical cooperation and capacity building in the field of human rights.  Thailand believes that it is the best and most constructive way to promote human rights.

 

With the Human Rights Council at the center, societies have, and will continue to receive help through technical cooperation and capacity building, through dialogue and experience sharing, and through human rights education.  This is why Thailand continues to table our annual resolution on technical cooperation and capacity building.  It is also why we have committed to provide financial contribution to the Office of the High Commissioner as well as to the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights.

 

Thailand fully supports the Universal Periodic Review process.  Despite  not being a member of the Council at the present, Thailand has devoted our time and resources to actively participate in giving our views and recommendations to countries under the UPR process. It is our firm belief that we all should spend more time listening to our friends, particularly those who have shown their willingness to be reviewed and scrutinized by their peers.

 

 

Positive support and reinforcements have always proven to be more effective.  Therefore, we should not aim at criticizing, nor at naming and shaming.  In the past, during the time of the Commission on Human Rights, year after year, we criticized and named and shamed countries.  Nothing much happened.  But we all had high hopes when the Commission gave way to the Human Rights Council.

 

Almost ten years have passed.  We have achieved a lot.  But we should remind ourselves every once in a while that we need to think out of the box, we need to explore new ways of work, we can and should do better.

 

Mr. President,

 

This September in New York, our leaders will be adopting the post-2015 development agenda.  It is therefore most appropriate that this session of the Council focuses on mainstreaming human rights in international cooperation, including the efforts to set the post-2015 development agenda.

 

Development is not about economic growth and GDP only.  To be sustainable, development must address all forms of inequalities and discrimination.  The new development agenda must place people at the center.  It must be inclusive.  We totally agree that, “we should leave no one behind.”

 

The fruits of sustainable development must be shared by all parts of society.  This includes in particular women and children, and those most vulnerable, such as people with disabilities, older persons, as well as migrants, both regular and irregular.  Indeed, over the past year, the Government has registered over 1.6 million irregular migrants to ensure that they are better protected and have greater access to essential social services.

 

Mr. President,

 

Finally, I would like to reassure the Council that the Government is working tirelessly to lay down a solid foundation for a stronger and more sustainable democracy.

 

Mr. President,

 

Please rest assured of Thailand’s firm commitment to work closely and constructively with the Council.  We are firmly committed to contributing to the work of the Council to make it credible, effective and most importantly, relevant and beneficial to the people on the ground.

 

Thank you, Mr. President.