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Cablegate: Thai Response to Ipapi Demarche

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 163036

1. Regional Environmental, Science, and Health Officer (REO)
delivered points in Reftel to Dr. Itti Ditbanjong, Ambassador
attached to the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and to Ms. Sansanee
Sahussarungsi, Director of the Division of Economic
Information of the Department of International Economic
Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. REO also passed
the statement of core principles on to the Thailand Ministry
of Public Health in order to facilitate possible discussion
of the issue between the two ministries. On September 9, Ms.
Sansanee called with several questions regarding the
formation of the International Partnership on Avian and
Pandemic Influenza (IPAPI).

2. Ms. Sansanee asked the deadline for Thailand's response.
She also asked if commitment to participate would comprise a
commitment to fund activities of the partnership. She asked
what other countries have committed to participate. And she
asked why this is being directed toward the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (as opposed to the Ministry of Health).

3. In response to Ms. Sansanee's questions, REO said that the
U.S. would like to announce the formation of IPAPI during the
opening sessions of UNGA on September 14. The U.S. is not
looking for financial commitments at this time, but rather an
acceptance of the "core principles" and a commitment to
participate. Meetings will be held on the margins of UNGA
and will be followed by other Senior Officials Meetings to
establish committees and develop action plans. The U.S.
would like to see broad global participation in IPAPI.
Canada, Japan, the U.K., and Australia have already committed
to participation. The U.S. especially would like to see
early participation by countries directly affected by avian
influenza, including Thailand, Indonesia, China, Kazakhstan
and others, and we would particularly hope for Thailand's
assistance in persuading other ASEAN countries to join.
While we recognize that Thailand's Ministry of Public Health
and Ministry of Agriculture have already been collaborating
closely with U.S. agencies in Thailand (CDC and the Foreign
Agriculture Service), this initiative aims to engage the
foreign ministries of various countries in the problems
associated with avian influenza because international
cooperation in matters of diplomacy and political issues, in
confronting a potential avian flu pandemic, is as important
as international cooperation in the more obvious human and
animal health issues.

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4. Ms. Sansanee replied that she thought the initiative to
cooperate in this way would be a worthwhile endeavor. She
was uncertain, however, whether Thailand would be able to
make a formal commitment to participate in IPAPI by a
September 14 deadline.

5. Note: The Economic Counselor at the Embassy of Japan in
Bangkok spoke with Ms. Sansanee about IPAPI on September 7.
He told REO that Ms. Sansanee at that time said that the
Ministry of Public Health would be taking the lead on any
avian flu related issues. In her conversation with REO, Ms.
Sansanee appeared to be convinced of the value of MFA
involvement. Mission will report as we hear of any further
developments in the Thai response.

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