Cablegate: World Health Assembly Demarche - Thai Response
DE RUEHBK #2680 1340727
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140727Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6861
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1829
UNCLAS BANGKOK 002680
STATE FOR IO, G/AIAG, ISN
TAGS: TBIO AORC PREL KFLU WHO TH
SUBJECT: WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY DEMARCHE - THAI RESPONSE
REF: STATE 61739
1. On May 14, Econoff delivered talking points per reftel to Dr.
Thawat Suntharajarn, Director General of the Department of Disease
Control. Dr. Thawat explained that although Thailand had not had a
case of avian influenza for approximately one year, the RTG position
for future cases is to cooperate in sharing virus specimens through
the WHO. Dr. Thawat said the RTG was in agreement with Indonesia
that developing countries need a guarantee for access to vaccines
developed through the shared virus samples, and would be presenting
proposed criteria for such an arrangement at the WHA meetings.
2. Dr. Thawat said the RTG supports the destruction of remaining
smallpox stocks "as soon as possible, but not immediately."
Thailand is concerned about the risk of bioterrorists obtaining
access to smallpox samples. However, the RTG recognizes the need
for research and suggested maintaining DNA samples rather than
actual tissue samples of the virus.