Address By His Excellency Mr. Chavarat Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, on the Occasion of the United Nations Day 2008, United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, 24 October 2008

Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP,
Dr. Manaspas Xuto, President of the United Nations Association of Thailand,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured and pleased to represent His Excellency Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat today and to speak on his behalf on the occasion of United Nations Day. The Royal Thai Government and the people of the Kingdom of Thailand extend their best wishes and most sincere congratulations to the United Nations and its specialized agencies in Thailand on the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to Ambassador Manaspas Xuto, President of the United Nations Association of Thailand, for his tireless efforts and significant contributions in promoting a better understanding of the United Nations in Thailand.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since its establishment sixty three years ago today, the United Nations has successfully upheld the principles and ideals enriched in the Charter. On our part, as a proud member of the United Nations, Thailand’s commitment and support to the United Nations have been steadfast. Of equal importance is our parallel efforts to realize the three fundamental pillars underpinning those principles and ideals namely, the promotion and protection of human rights, development and peace and security.
As we are celebrating its Sixtieth Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights this year, Thailand is proud to refer to her Constitution which has placed the rights of the individual to life and liberty as enshrined by the UN charter at its very core. At the international level, Thailand has consistently supported the establishment of the Human Rights Council (HRC) from the outset and has actively participated in the institution-building process of the HRC.

On the second pillar of development, Thailand remains committed to promoting concerted efforts along the UN and the international community. The food crisis, escalating oil prices, and climate change have all posed particular difficulties for many countries in this region and elsewhere to reach the MDGs by the target year of 2015. Thailand stands ready to provide whatever assistance she can, when requested, and will continue to provide development assistance to other developing countries through South-South cooperation.

Thailand has actively supported the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security, which is the third pillar. As member of the United Nations Standby Arrangement System since 1998, Thailand has sent troops and personnel to join UN Missions in Timor Leste, Sudan, and Nepal. We have also trained our peacekeepers in development and equipped them with the skills to assist local populations. Therefore, they not only keep the peace, but more importantly help sustain the peoples’ livelihoods.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Giving balanced attention to human rights, development, and peace and security is vital in ensuring that the United Nations is effective and relevant. Thailand supports UN reform that will strengthen faith and commitment to the UN and multilateralism. Reform must also ensure equitable participation and inputs from Member States. On our part, we are committed to continuing working closely with the UN to promote reform in all areas especially with regard to the management of the UN secretariat and efforts to strengthen UN System-wide Coherence.

Ladies and Gentlemen, For the past 63 years, Thailand has supported the UN to the best of her ability, and will continue to do so in a spirit of partnership. Never was that spirit more poignantly realized than in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in May 2008.

It is this spirit of partnership that enabled Thailand, and the United Nations, with a close cooperation with the World Food Programme, to cooperate in a setting up of the UN staging Area was set up in Don Mueang International Airport to launch humanitarian relief operations to Myanmar. This cooperation has enabled the international community to respond rapidly and effectively to the humanitarian needs of the victims.

Another important and crucial partnership that was formed in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, was the tripartite partnership between ASEAN, the United Nations and Myanmar. As Chair of ASEAN, Thailand will spare no effort in the continued promotion of a strong partnership between ASEAN and the UN, which I believe can be strengthened even further at the upcoming ASEAN- UN Summit this December in Thailand. We look forward to welcoming Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for his third visit to our country and to the fruitful outcome of the Summit.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To conclude, I would like to congratulate the United Nations, once again, on its 63rd Birthday. Thailand recommit ourselves on this very special day to continue to work with you, in strengthening old partnerships and forming new ones, to uphold and protect the principles and ideals for which the United Nations stand for.

Thank you for your kind attention.