BANGKOK – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has praised Thailand’s role in providing care and protection to displaced persons based on the principles of compassion and humanity.
The Ministry of Defence Spokesman, Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, revealed that Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan welcomed the visiting UNHCR Director of the Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Indrika Ratwatte, at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Bangkok upon the inauguration of his mission.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the government has been working closely with the UNHCR Regional Office for South East Asia, and praised the success of the drafting of the international agreement on refugees, serving as a tool to help solve refugee issues based on the delegation of duties and responsibilities. Thailand actively participated in the negotiations and implementation.
He said that Thailand will be sending high-level officials to join related meetings, and pledged to provide support in areas in which the country specializes. The DPM stressed Thailand has placed priority on returning displaced persons from Rakhine state in Myanmar to their origin. ASEAN, working closely with the UNHCR, is now on track to initiate cooperative projects in Rakhine to support the efforts in creating an environment suitable for the return of displaced persons, bringing long-term peace back to the region.
The UNHCR’s Asia and the Pacific director praised the leadership of the Thai government in helping people displaced by warfare, which he said is a good model for the region and the world.
He said the UNHCR will be providing operational support to the Thai government for its present and future initiatives on refugees.