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Thailand lobbies for position on UN Security Council

Thailand will on Monday host a reception in New York to officially inform the international community that it intends applying for the position of non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The Thai delegation to the UN General Assembly and the permanent representative to the UN are currently spending a great deal of time meeting counterparts from many countries to tell them of Thailand's intention and to ask for their support.

"Every country, big or small, has one vote, so we have to meet as many as possible, especially those countries with whom we have little or no relations," the Foreign Ministry's Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow said.

Thailand will apply for the position on the UNSC in 2017-2018. The country has served the body once in a similar role over a two-year term in 1985-86. The theme this time is to act as a bridge for developed and developing members in achieving peace and development.

"Thailand has proposed clear platforms in its campaign for the position in the UNSC this time," Sihasak said.

"We have the kind of diplomacy that could help bring about stances for the mutual benefit of all. I think we have ability to build consensus around many disputed issues," he said.

Thailand has contributed to UN affairs consistently and continuously. Its peace-keeping forces have joined UN blue beret contingents in many conflict-stricken areas.

Security in the modern world is not only state security and conflicts are not only among nations. Emerging conflicts are sometimes between state and civic groups, Sihasak pointed out.

"The UNSC has to consider conflict and security in its new dimensions as well as the link between security and development," he said. "Post-conflict resolution and lasting peace restoration are based on development work," he said.

The foreign ministry has mapped out a strategy for its campaign in according to geographic interests. Pacific islands states, Africa and Latin America are a priority.

"Strategically, we don't approach UN members merely to ask them to vote for us but tell them what we can do for them as regards security and development concerns as well as UN development agendas," Sihasak said.

Countries would be approached both bilaterally and multilaterally, he said. Many forums such as the Africa Institute and Forum For East Asia Latin America Coperation (Fealac) of which Thailand is the coordinator, would be utilised.

The Asean, of which Thailand is a member, would not only be asked for support but should help Thailand to seek support from countries outside the group, he said. Thailand is the Asean's candidate, so all members should help, he said.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul would also be asking for support from their counterparts.


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