Address by Ambassador Manaspas Xuto, President of the United Nations Association of Thailand on the Occasion of the United Nations Day 2007

Bangkok, 24 October 2007

Your Excellency, Prime Minister,
Mr. Mochida, Officer-in-Charge ad interim of the Secretariat and Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP,
Mr. Giridhar, UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand ad interim,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to express my appreciation to Your Excellency the Prime Minister, for honouring us with your presence today. We look forward to hearing your statement shortly.

It is indeed a pleasure and an honour for me to address this gathering to celebrate the 62nd Anniversary of the United Nations. The Organization that has been at the centre of key global developments since the second half of the twentieth century will play an even more pivotal role in this new millennium.

On behalf of the United Nations Association of Thailand, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). We are confident that her past achievements and experience, from advancing women’s rights and sustainable development to promoting international peace and security issues, will help her accomplish her mission here at UNESCAP, enabling the organization to play an effective, value-added role in supporting economic and social development in the Asia-Pacific region. I would also like to welcome Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son, the new United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his commitment in steering the UN as it continues to battle some of humanity’s greatest challenges, from climate change to poverty, from violations of human rights to threats to international peace and security, from intolerance and extremism to diseases and pandemics. We also appreciate his commitment to pursue UN reform, enabling the organization to become more effective in tackling the global challenges of our time.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you know, the United Nations was founded to usher in a new era of peace, following an era of unprecedented destruction. It was founded to advance the cause of peace and security, human rights and development – for the benefit of all “the peoples of the United Nations”.

The United Nations now comprises 192 Member States. Today, the Organization finds itself at the centre of many ongoing international efforts mobilized to face challenges new and old, from preventing conflict to providing humanitarian assistance, from providing food for the hungry to building shelters for the displaced, from making available better education to creating new norms of international conduct. The UN has become an important symbol for humanity – a symbol of unity amidst diversity, of the triumph of peace over discord, of hope for a better future for succeeding generations.

In this era, in which the United Nations has been grappling with so many challenges, questions have been raised to as to how effective the UN really is. To this, let me just say: the UN is what we the Member States, and indeed the peoples of the UN, make it to be. The future of the UN lies in our own hands. If we want to make the UN more effective, then let us give the UN the mandate and the resources to make it possible.

For its noble pursuits, and for what it symbolizes, the United Nations holds a very special place in the foreign policy of the Kingdom of Thailand. Faith in collective action for the common good, within the framework of the UN, has always been a part of this country’s approach in its cooperation with the international community.

The kind presence of His Excellency the Prime Minister on this important day speaks volumes to the commitment of this country and this Government to the principles of the UN and to our close cooperation with the UN through an enduring partnership that has spanned over six decades.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the UN to be successful, it will continue to need support, not only at government level but also from the people, civil society and the private sector. Garnering this support is the mission of UNAT – the United Nations Association of Thailand.

UNAT is proud to play its part in enhancing the role of the UN, and indeed multilateralism, in global affairs. Ever since UNAT was founded 54 years ago, it has actively enhanced public awareness of the UN, and secured public acceptance and support for its work among the Thai people. UNAT also makes a point of reaching out to the youth, recognizing that they are the world’s future.

Over the last few months, UNAT, together with the Translators and Interpreters Association of Thailand and E-Lang Journal, has organized the Youth Translation Competition in celebration of the 80th Anniversary of His Majesty the King of Thailand. The competition aimed at improving language skills - both Thai and English - and promoting reading and translation among Thai students. Thanks to the hard work and kind support of UNESCAP, this successful competition will conclude tomorrow with an award ceremony as part of the UN Day Exhibition, held at Central World Plaza.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is our collective will and our wisdom that will enable us to overcome the many challenges before us, and to create a better world in this twenty-first century. We are each capable of making a difference, of helping to make the UN the ideal organization that we all wish it to be. UNAT will continue to contribute to the Thailand-UN partnership as well as to global efforts designed to build awareness and support for this most universal of all international organizations.

In closing, I once again congratulate the United Nations on its 62nd Anniversary, with my best wishes for the continued evolution and success of this collective forum for the betterment of humanity.

Thank you for your kind attention.