At the 11th Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Thailand expressed grave concern over the worsening hostilities and violence in Ukraine.
Dr. Suriya Chindawongse, Thailand’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said that the use of military force has led to loss of lives, including those of innocent civilians, and destruction of property and civilian infrastructure.
He pointed out that, since ASEAN issued a statement on the situation in Ukraine on February 26th, the armed hostilities have intensified and casualties continue to rise.
Thailand, he reiterated, is worried about the humanitarian situation of refugees and those fleeing the fighting, adding “Thailand commends Ukraine’s neighbouring countries and other states for their prompt actions in mobilising assistance for those with increasing humanitarian needs.”
After his speech, Thailand and other ASEAN members voted to support the UN resolution, along with 140 other UN members, which condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Vietnam and Laos were among the 35 who abstained while 5 members voted against the motion.
He added that Thailand will do “our utmost in addressing the humanitarian needs of the affected citizens, directly and in partnership with like-minded international organizations.”
Thailand, which has just commemorated the 75th anniversary of joining the UN, stated clearly that it adheres to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the political independence of States, and refrains from the use of force, or threat of use of force, against another State.
“We thus call for the immediate cessation of violence and armed hostilities. The escalation of the situation will cause wider impacts for the world, aggravate humanitarian conditions and threaten the wellbeing of the global economy, hampering the fragile recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Dr. Suriya.
In front of 192 other UN members, Thailand once again renewed its call for dialogue and negotiations, in order to find a peaceful settlement and sustainable solution through the UN, regional mechanisms and other mutually acceptable modalities.
Thailand’s position on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict came into focus due to the absence of a condemnation by the Thai government of the attack by Russian troops ahead of the UN vote. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had deflected the question, only saying that Thailand’s position is that of ASEAN. Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai’s was equally noncommittal, saying that there was no rush to condemn Russia.
Thailand’s neighbour Myanmar also voted in support of the UN resolution, despite the ruling junta’s support of Russia’s attack, because Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Kyaw Moe Tun, who was appointed by now-deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and is known for defying and denouncing the junta on the international stage, is to remain in his position until the UN recognises his successor.