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Thailand committed to democracy, Foreign Minister tells UN

Thailand committed to democracy, Foreign Minister tells UN

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya of Thailand
Thailand is committed to the principles of democracy and human rights, the South-East Asian nation’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly today, stressing that the Government is striving to heal political and social divisions within the country.

The country was rocked by deadly political violence earlier this year between anti-Government protesters and security forces.

“But history has shown that Thailand is a resilient country and her people are capable of overcoming whatever challenges thrown before them,” Kasit Piromya told the Assembly’s annual high-level debate on its last day.

The country, he said continues to be a functioning democracy, albeit a relatively young one.

The Government has launched a national reconciliation plan and set up independent committees to find ways to reform the country, Mr. Piromya said.

“Human rights remain the cornerstone of the Government’s policy,” he stressed, noting that an independent fact-finding commission has been established to look into the “tragic events” earlier this year.

The Government also is very cognizant that some of the political grievances in Thailand are a result of economic disparities, and is endeavouring to bridge the gaps through universal healthcare schemes, the minister said.

It is also providing 15 years of free education, training programmes for the unemployed and support for those who earn low incomes, farmers, the elderly and people with disabilities.

“Our stimulus packages would benefit not only the overall economy, but especially those who are economically and socially disadvantaged and disenfranchised.”

Despite the turmoil earlier this year, Thailand’s economy continues to be robust and exports continue to grow steadily, Mr. Piromya said.

“I think we have proven to the world the strength of our national character and the resilience of our nation,” he said. “Despite the tragic incidents, Thailand has continued to move forwards, not merely for the benefit of the country but also for the international community.”