BANGKOK, 24 June 2011 – Head of the Thai delegation to the World Heritage Committee (WHC) Meeting Suwit Khunkitti has declared Thailand’s readiness to withdraw as a committee member if the Preah Vihear management plan is considered.
While attending the 35th WHC Meeting in Paris, Mr Suwit has met with Director of the World Heritage Center Kishore Rao to discuss an amendment of the draft resolution for the Preah Vihear management plan. The Thai chief delegate revealed that if Thailand and Cambodia could not settle on the draft resolution, the World Heritage Center would go ahead with presenting the current version to the WHC.
However, Mr Suwit deemed the circumstance a risk for Thailand as it could cause the country to lose its territory. Therefore, he announced that Thailand might have to end its role as a member of the WHC if the committee insisted on considering Cambodia’s Preah Vihear management plan.
Mr Suwit was adamant that the Thai delegation would continue to protect the national sovereignty. He then cited a regulation of the WHC as stipulating that any designation of a World Heritage Site must not affect the boundary with neighboring countries. Therefore, he reminded the committee not to overlook the border issue if it still perceived Thailand as an important member nation.