United Nations celebrates Bangkok’s role as UN hub for sustainable and inclusive development in Asia and the Pacific

Leaders of Thailand joined the United Nations family here today to celebrate the United Nations Day and the role of the Kingdom’s capital as a United Nations hub promoting sustainable and inclusive development in Asia and the Pacific.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) partnered United Nations agencies working in Thailand in hosting the ceremony marking 62 years of United Nations presence in Thailand as well as the 66th birthday of the world body.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Prime Minister H.E. Yingluck Shinawatra, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand H.E. Surapong Tovichakchaikul and Chairman of Advisors to Governor of Bangkok, Dr. Vallop Suwandee, joined United Nations Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Dr. Noeleen Heyzer at the ceremony held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok which also saw the launch of Bangkok as the “UN Hub in Asia-Pacific”.

“Bangkok has transformed in many ways – not only in its growth as the capital of our dear nation, but also as a geographic, commercial and political hub. In the same way, Bangkok has risen in stature and importance for both ESCAP and the entire UN family of agencies and entities, which now total almost 30, making it now also a United Nations hub for Asia and the Pacific,” Her Royal Highness said in her keynote address.

Addressing the ceremony, Thailand’s first woman Prime Minister Yingluck said, “It would be difficult to imagine a world without the United Nations” as it plays a vital role in promoting international cooperation to bring about world peace, security and development.

The Prime Minister said her government was battling one of the country’s worst natural disasters in decades and Thailand looked to support from the United Nations as it recovers from the devastating floods.

Speaking on the occasion, the ESCAP chief who is the top United Nations official in the Asia-Pacific region, reiterated United Nations support to Thailand. “In response to this and other natural disasters in recent months, the United Nations stands ready to assist our Member States in humanitarian relief and to build back better.”

“Increased natural disasters like the ones we are experiencing in our region wipe out years of hard work and human lives,” Dr. Heyzer said.

Thanking Thailand for hosting the United Nations, the ESCAP chief said: “By giving us this gracious home, you have given Asia Pacific a regional United Nations presence to build our collective strengths, to share regional solutions, to implement the founding ideals of the United Nations, to build a more inclusive, sustainable and just future for our people.”

Dr. Vallop Suwandee, on behalf of the Governor of Bangkok, joined Dr. Heyzer for the launch of “Bangkok: UN Hub for Asia-Pacific” and welcomed designating Bangkok as a hub for the region.