Thailand: FM holds bilateral, multilateral meetings to garner support for UN candidacy

New York – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul wrapped his mission to the United Nations General Assembly with a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings and also hosted a reception to ask for support for the Thai candidacy for seats on UN bodies.

Thailand will apply for a seat as a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council for the two year term of 2017-2018 with the aim of playing a role within the global body and uplifting the country’s international profile, he said.

In the meantime, Thailand will also apply for a position on the UN Human Right Council in 2015-2017. The campaign has already been launched for the two bodies.

The country proposed itself, as a moderate nation, to serve as a bridge for developed and developing countries in building peace and stability as well as development, he said.

Surapong told a gathering of more than 100 ministers, senior officials and diplomats during a reception in New York that Thailand has experience in many UN tasks such as peace keeping, development issues and human rights council. “You will not be disappointed, Thailand is the right choice,” he said at Monday’s reception.

The country served the UN security body once in 19851986 and began a threeyear term as a member of the Human Right Council in 2010.

The foreign minister spent most of his time in New York during the General Assembly last week and this week meeting his counterparts from 13 countries and attended many multilateral forums to ask for support from them as well as trading votes with them.

Surapong said he would meet as many of his counterparts as possible bilaterally and multilaterally, since all members of the UN, small or big, have one vote. Thailand needs twothirds of the 193 member votes to secure the position in the UNSC.

While in New York, he met representatives of countries mostly from Africa, Latin America, the Balkan Peninsula and the Middle East, among them Bahrain, Uganda, Liberia, Albania, United Arab Emirate, Colombia, Macedonia and Sudan.

He joined a meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries on Monday to offer development assistance and Thailand as a linkage hub to facilitate connectivity for them.

Thailand, as a transit country, has the ability to connect landlocked nations with trade and investment, he said. Thailand, in fact, has played the role of transit country for neighbouring landlocked Laos for a long time.