Cablegate: Thailand Expects to Ratify Unesco Convention, but Not
DE RUEHBK #7512 3541046
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201046Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3547
RUEHFR/USMISSION UNESCO PARIS
UNCLAS BANGKOK 007512
STATE FOR IO/UNESCO KELLY SIEKMAN, L/UNA DAVID SULLIVAN, EB/TPP/MTA
TAGS: ECON ETRD SCUL UNESCO TH
SUBJECT: THAILAND EXPECTS TO RATIFY UNESCO CONVENTION, BUT NOT
REF: SECSTATE 196185
1. On December 20, Econoff met with Ms. Angsana Sihapitak, Director
of the Development Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, the office with responsibility for UNESCO issues, and
provided talking points on the UNESCO Convention on Cultural
Expressions as per reftel.
2. Ms. Angsana predicted that Thailand would eventually ratify the
Convention but believed it would "not happen anytime soon." Angsana
explained that the Ministry of Cultural Affairs had the lead on
ratification of the Convention, but would first need to circulate
the Convention to other ministries to ensure there was no conflict
with existing laws and agreements. From there it would require
Cabinet approval and later parliamentary approval. Since there was
"no emergency" driving the ratification process Angsana considered
the process could take as long as a few years, but cautioned that
there were always exceptions and Thailand could ratify much earlier.
In the meantime, the RTG would observe the implementation of the
Convention in other countries and any effect it may have on trade.
3. Angsana had no objection to the inclusion of a written
understanding with the ratification instrument as suggested in
reftel, and noted that Thailand had included a similar statement
with their 2005 vote to adopt the Convention. However, she said
that the ratification process had not advanced far and little
consideration had been given thus far to including such a statement.
4. Angsana said that the RTG was interested in the responses of the
other seven countries who submitted similar statements on the
Convention in 2005 as listed in reftel. Any information that could
be shared with the RTG would be appreciated. Angsana also suggested
a WTO group be established to monitor the Convention's effect on
trade and its consistency with WTO agreements.