Statement by Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs at the High-level Segment during the 55th Session of the Human Rights Council on 28 February 2024

Statement by Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs at the High-level Segment during the 55th Session of the Human Rights Council on 28 February 2024

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Statement by H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow

Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand

at the High-level Segment during the 55th Session of the Human Rights Council

28 February 2024 at UNOG, Geneva

 

Mr. President,

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

 

  1. It was an honour for me to represent my country here in December last year as we marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The occasion reminded us of how much we have achieved and yet how much more we still have to go. The tragedy in Ukraine and in the Gaza reminds us of this stark reality and unites all of us in the promotion and protection of human rights for all without discrimination.

 

Mr. President,

 

  1. In our region, Thailand continues to play its role in promoting human rights for all and providing humanitarian assistance to all in need.

 

  1. We are deeply concerned about the ongoing situation in Myanmar and the plight of the Myanmar people. As the immediate neighboring country, we believe it is time for all parties in Myanmar to pursue the path of dialogue and reconciliation. In the immediate term, given the pressing needs of those affected by the continuing conflict, Thailand is compelled to launch an initiative to upscale humanitarian assistance along our common border. We hope that this will be a crucial first step in the implementation of ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus, which calls for the reduction and cessation of violence, provision of humanitarian assistance, and all-inclusive dialogue for peace.

 

Mr. President,

 

  1. At home, Thailand's recent election marks a new chapter in our democracy, positioning human rights at the core of our policy agenda. Thailand is fully committed to foster even more rights-based and inclusive societies, giving priorities to addressing inequalities, supporting those most vulnerable, responding to new and emerging challenges, and promoting sustainable development. Most importantly, we are committed to fully aligning our domestic legal frameworks with all the human rights instruments that we are a party to. We can and must do more at home.

 

  1. Later this year, we look forward to welcoming the country visits of the High Commissioner, the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, and the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls.

 

Mr. President,

 

  1. I had the privilege of being President of the Human Rights Council from 2010 - 2011, during which we had to undertake the first and only review of the Council so far. The Human Rights Council is now in its 18th Thailand believes the time is opportune for us to be engaged in dialogue on how we can work together to ensure that the work of the Council truly makes a difference to the lives of our peoples.

 

  1. Two weeks ago, Thailand hosted a panel discussion at the UN in New York on the Future of the Human Rights Council – challenges and opportunities in maximizing the impact of the Council’s work on the ground. The panel discussion was well-attended with wide array of views shared on how we can increase the effectiveness of the Council, better address the issue of polarization and selectivity, and ensure that the Council’s work delivers tangible outcomes beyond the debates in this hall. Practical measures, which Thailand believes the Council should consider, include the promotion of dialogue and constructive engagement, more cross regional coordination, rationalization of the Council’s work, the use of technical cooperation and capacity building to promote a culture of prevention, and enhancing coordination and synergies between the Council and other important bodies of the UN.

 

Mr. President,

 

  1. It is in the spirit of wanting to contribute to the work of the Council that Thailand has presented its candidature for membership of the Council for the term 2025 - 2027. If elected, we are determined to be an active, responsible and constructive member, building upon our past track record and helping to build coalitions for human rights in the Council and beyond in our common endeavor to address pressing human rights challenges of our time and for future generations.

 

Thank you.

 

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