Thailand and the UN

Thailand Candidature for UNSC

AIDE-MEMOIRE

 

Thailand’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council

for the term 2017-2018

 

Thailand and the UN

 

The Kingdom of Thailand has submitted its candidature for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the term 2017-2018, the elections for which will be held in 2016, during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

 

Thailand became a member of the United Nations on 16 December 1946. We have always been committed to the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter.  Our international role and contribution have consistently been based on the principle of constructive dialogue and sovereign equality among nations.  

 

Thailand takes great pride in our long history of positive engagement with the UN since our admission in 1946.  We served as President of the General Assembly in 1956 and served once as a non-permanent member of the UNSC in 1985-1986. Thailand was elected to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) for the term 2010-2013 during which we served as President between 2010-2011.  Thailand has subsequently submitted its HRC candidature for a second term in 2015-2017.

 

Thailand is host to a vibrant community of civil society and more than 30 UN or UN-affiliated agencies / regional headquarters in Bangkok, including UNESCAP, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA and UNDP.  UN and multilateral affairs is a longstanding pillar in Thailand’s foreign policy.

 

Our Vision

 

We believe that peace and security, development, and human rights are mutually reinforcing issues that need to be addressed comprehensively.  We believe in a people-centered approach to security and that what the UNSC is ultimately working for is the peace and security of all peoples.  We also believe that for peace to be long-lasting, sustainable development must be achieved and the needs of the people, including their physical needs as well as their desire for freedom and protection of their inherent rights, fulfilled.

 

Conflict prevention is preferred to intervention as it saves life, time, effort and resource, especially considering that such resource could otherwise be channeled more productively towards development and prosperity.  Thailand believes that conflict prevention should be viewed in a broader context, including through fostering sustainable development and promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms through dialogue, cooperation and capacity building.

 

As a medium-sized and middle-income developing country, Thailand believes it can constructively serve as a bridge between the developed and developing worlds to ensure that everyone stays on track and works together for the common goals of world peace, prosperity, and protection of rights.

 

Peace and Security

 

The maintenance of international peace and security is the core responsibility of the UNSC.  As a responsible member of the United Nations, Thailand has fully cooperated with the UNSC towards effective implementation of its resolutions.

 

Thailand is committed to supporting the process of disarmament and non-proliferation of all types of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).  Thailand is a State Party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).  We signed the Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement and are also a Signatory State to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.  In addition, Thailand, with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has established the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) and urged Nuclear Weapon States to accede to the Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty, which have made significant contributions to regional peace and security.  Thailand considers the creation of other such zones as a positive step towards the ultimate goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world.

 

Safety of an innocent civilian is particularly close to our heart. Thailand adheres to the humanitarian principles and commits to the global norms created by the Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. We also fully support the multilateral efforts in combatting an illicit trade in conventional arms, including the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons as well as the Arms Trade Treaty process to “negotiate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.”

 

Thailand is not shied away when it comes to peacekeeping.  Since 1950 Thailand has sent over 20,000 personnel to serve in over 20 UN peacekeeping and related missions worldwide, including in Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Burundi and Sudan.  For peace to be sustainable, we believe that peacekeeping must go hand in hand with peacebuilding and development.  We firmly support the concept of sustainable peace through people-centered development and community empowerment, particularly at the grassroots level.

 

Thailand’s contribution to international peace and security extends to maritime security and anti-piracy efforts.  The Royal Thai Navy has deployed its Counter Piracy Task Group to join the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in patrolling and protecting ships against piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden area.  Closer to home, Thailand has taken part in various regional anti-piracy efforts, including the Malacca Straits Coordinated Patrol (MSCP), the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), and Eyes in the Sky.

 

On conflict prevention, Thailand has been in the forefront of regional efforts in building trust and confidence and promoting preventive diplomacy through various mechanisms and frameworks. We have played a leading role in the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994, which has served as a key forum for security dialogue in the Asia-Pacific on regional security issues and cooperation to promote peace and security in the region. In addition, Thailand supports the observance as well as the expansion of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), which has promoted the adherence to the important principles of non-use of force and peaceful settlement of disputes.  The TAC now comprises more than 30 parties, including all Permanent Members of the UNSC and all countries in East Asia.

 

Sustainable Development

 

Development cannot be advanced in isolation from the promotion of security and human rights. Development must be people-centered and comprehensive, while economic growth sustained, inclusive and equitable.

 

Thailand has played a leading role in promoting an inclusive and sustainable development in the region and beyond.  UNDP’s first Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award was presented in 2006 to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand for his extraordinary contribution to human development, which does benefit not only Thai citizens but also the international community.

 

Thailand stands ready to continue to work with other countries through bilateral / trilateral cooperation, South-South Cooperation and multilateral frameworks to share our knowledge and experience in alleviating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and our voluntary more ambitious targets – called MDG Plus – in the areas of poverty eradication, education, health, gender equality, and environment.

 

As part of our strategic partnership with the UN and the international community, Thailand strives to strengthen capacities of developing countries, especially LDCs, LLDCs and SIDs, to better cope with transnational threats and challenges, including diseases, trafficking in drugs and persons, climate change, and natural disasters.

 

In addressing illicit crop cultivation and promoting sustainable livelihood, Thailand has continuously promoted alternative development, including through the process towards realizing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development as a universal set of strategy for development to address the world drug problem, as well as making a difference on the ground, domestically and internationally, through the works of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage (MFLF) and the Royal Project Foundation (RPF).

 

Building on our successful experiences in achieving the MDGs, Thailand will continue to work closely with other members of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the international community towards shaping and implementing a shared vision on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the SDGs.  In our views, the Post-2015 Development Agenda should remain people-centered and place high priority on poverty eradication as well as other key elements such as ensuring sustainability, building resilience, reducing inequality, promoting human rights and strengthening good governance.

 

Climate change is another key challenge to sustainable development.  Thailand places itself as a climate-resilient society and supports appropriate mitigation actions and adaptation measures at all levels.  Much needed resources and partnership are required to help developing countries address the negative impacts of climate change.  As a medium-level developing country, Thailand has committed itself to voluntary reduction of carbon emission.

 

On disaster management, Thailand has actively supported and promoted close coordination among various centers, institutes and arrangements that deal with disaster management and disaster preparedness, including Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief cooperation under ASEAN, ARF and the East Asia Summit (EAS).  Thailand stands ready to support disaster-stricken countries bilaterally and multilaterally and join the international community in working towards the goals of disaster reduction set forth in the Hyogo Framework for Action and beyond.

 

As the world’s leading food producer, Thailand’s global partnership extends to food security. Among others, Thailand has worked closely with the World Food Programme (WFP) to assist those in need during various crises, including in Haiti, Myanmar, Nepal, Senegal and Sri Lanka.

 

Human Rights and Humanitarian Assistance

 

We are committed to human rights which are inviolable, inalienable, and universal.  Thailand was one of the first 48 countries to endorse the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.  We have also consistently supported the work of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) since its inception in 2006.  Our human rights policy is guided by the principles of reaching out, hearing out and respecting the views of all.

 

In addition, Thailand has been playing an active part in various international human rights fora. Thai mandate holders were elected or appointed to several human rights treaty bodies and special procedures, including the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

At the regional level, Thailand has also played an instrumental role and contributed to the realisation of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).

 

As part of our contribution to human rights norm-setting, Thailand proposed the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders, as guided by Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol.  This “Bangkok Rules” was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010.  This initiative aims to ensure gender sensitivity and respect for specific need of women in the formulation and revision of prison and correctional management policies worldwide.

 

Thailand has long upheld a humanitarian tradition of helping refugees and displaced persons from neighbouring countries, having hosted more than a million over the past three decades. Thailand has also extended assistance to humanitarian efforts far beyond our borders.  We played a vital role as the hub for the international humanitarian assistance to Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis and contributed to humanitarian needs in many places, including Gaza and Haiti.

 

The UNSC

 

Given the emergence of new security challenges that lay before the UNSC, many of which are non-traditional and transnational, the UNSC must adjust to changing realities and better respond to these challenges.  Thailand envisions a UNSC working with greater efficiency, transparency, and engagement with concerned parties.  It should work more closely with other UN bodies towards greater coherence and coordination.  There should be greater cooperation between the UNSC and regional and sub-regional organizations, as these bodies are major regional players with greater local influence and understanding of specific local contexts.

 

Our Pledge

 

Given our past record and present actions, Thailand is ready to serve as an active member of the UNSC to work for the common good of all.  As a medium-level developing country with firsthand experience and practice in development, the safeguarding of human rights, and the maintenance of security and with overall good relations with countries worldwide, Thailand stands ready to act as a “Bridge for Partnerships” between the developed and developing countries, as well as between Asia and the rest of the world, on global issues and common concerns.  If elected as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, Thailand pledges to be a bridge-builder for members and non-members of the United Nations Security Council.  In addition, Thailand pledges to work closely with the international community as well as regional bodies to achieve sustainable peace and development and the promotion of human rights worldwide.

 

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Department of International Organizations

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand