Top Stories : Statement of the Delegation of the Kingdom of Thailand by His Excellency Mr. Sek Wannamethee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations Office in Geneva at the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention 2017, Geneva, 4-8 December 2017 News

Top Stories : Statement of the Delegation of the Kingdom of Thailand by His Excellency Mr. Sek Wannamethee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations Office in Geneva at the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention 2017, Geneva, 4-8 December 2017

Statement of the Delegation of the Kingdom of Thailand

by His Excellency Mr. Sek Wannamethee,

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand

to the United Nations Office in Geneva

at the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention 2017,

Geneva, 4 – 8 December 2017

Agenda Item 5: General Debate

 

Mr. Chair,

  1. The Kingdom of Thailand congratulates you on your election as the chairman of the 2017 Meeting of States Parties. We are confident that your leadership and experience will guide us to constructive deliberations and a successful meeting. You can count on Thailand for our full support. Our note of appreciation also goes to the Implementation Support Unit for its continued hard work and contributions to facilitating the implementation of the Convention.
  1. Thailand associates itself with the statement made by the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as the ASEAN joint statement made by the Ambassador of the Philippines.

Mr. Chair,

  1. BWC remains a strong pillar in the global security architecture. It has, for over 40 years, helped establish and maintain an international norm for reprehensibility of biological weapons, as well as outline how we can go about prohibiting them.
  1. Regrettably, the progress of implementing the Convention has not been as dynamic as we expect. Universality is one clear indication of our collective commitment to the complete disarmament of biological weapons. With 179 States Parties and 6 Signatory States to date, we are not too far away from our goal. Thailand therefore calls on those States that have not yet acceded to the BWC to do so without delay.
  1. On a particular note, Thailand congratulates and welcomes Samoa as the 179th State Party to the BWC. Let us all work together to strengthen the Convention and move towards the realization of its goals.

Mr. Chair,

  1. Thailand’s implementation of the BWC has always been consistent and we continuously strive to develop our national policy and practice. We regularly submit our Confidence-Building Measure (CBM) reports, compiling data from all relevant authorities to ensure its comprehensiveness and accuracy. We have established a mechanism for cross-agency coordination and information-sharing, namely the Working Group on Biological Weapons under the Sub-Committee on WMD Issues, headed by the Office of our National Security Council. Currently, this Working Group is drafting a framework for Thailand’s national response plan in the case of a biological event.
  1. Thailand also places great importance on regional and international cooperation. In September 2017, we jointly hosted the “South-East Asian Workshop on Global Challenges to Successful Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540 (2004), and Regional Efforts to Address Them” together with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD). The event brought together colleagues from ASEAN and Timor-Leste to discuss the 1540 Resolution, biosafety and biosecurity, as well as the effects of rapid scientific and technological advancements on WMD-related instruments, including the BWC.

Mr. Chair,

  1. Thailand recognizes the linkages that tie the BWC to other competent stakeholders and disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms. Such interactions as sharing information and best practices on export controls with the 1540 Committee, the World Customs Organisation, and the UNODC or engaging with the OPCW to discuss the convergence of biology and chemistry can contribute significantly to the betterment of BWC implementation and that of other regimes. Additionally, they afford us the opportunity to streamline our efforts and be more effective and efficient in our pursuit of global peace and prosperity. We urge States Parties, as well as relevant international and civil society organizations, to seek and pursue such linkages.
  1. For Thailand, we see clearly the gains of engaging with the World Health Organisation and its International Health Regulations (2005). In June 2017, Thailand underwent the Joint External Evaluation Tool to assess the effectiveness of the IHRs implementation in our public health sector. We welcomed the positive results of the evaluation, as well as its recommendations, which we plan to apply to our existing implementation practices and build further upon them. Good public health, especially prevention and detection, can serve as frontline protection against biological threats, whether natural, accidental, or intentional in origin.

Mr. Chair,

  1. Moving forward, we must consider how to strengthen the BWC amidst such challenges as the rising threat of non-State actors, the rapid advancements of science and technology, as well as increased connectivity and the obstacle of intangible technology transfers.
  1. That being said, Thailand sees the Inter-Sessional Programme (ISP) as one of the ways forward for the Convention. A robust and strategic ISP that covers such topics as the negotiation of a comprehensive verification mechanism, the establishment of an instrument to monitor and assess BWC-related scientific and technological developments, and the reinforcement and institutionalization of the ISU, will be a vital addition to the work of the Convention. Thailand hopes to see an open and constructive discussion on this matter.
  1. Lastly, Thailand stands ready and committed to working with our esteemed counterparts toward the strengthening and success of the Biological Weapons Convention and toward sustainable peace and prosperity for our international community.
  1. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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