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Cablegate: Thailand to Vote in Favor of Un Defamation Of

VZCZCXRO6238
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHBK #3063 3371009
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031009Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9161
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2175
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5471

UNCLAS BANGKOK 003063

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR DRL/IRF - JOANNELLA, FOR IO/HR - AMY
OSTERMEIR, FOR IO/HR - COLLEEN NEVILLE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UN PHUM UNGA PGOV TH
SUBJECT: THAILAND TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF UN DEFAMATION OF
RELIGIONS RESOLUTION

REF: A. STATE 122629
B. BANGKOK 02518

1. (SBU) We conveyed reftel Defamation of Religions points
to Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Department of
International Organizations official Chonvipat Changtrakul
December 3, urging Thailand to reverse its initial vote in
favor once the resolution reached the U.N. General Assembly
(UNGA) Resolution. Referencing Thailand's September 15
diplomatic note announcing its candidacy for the UN Human
Rights Council (ref B), we raised the RTG declaration of its
national priorities vis-a-vis promotion of human rights that
seemed to be at odds with Thai voting patterns on human
rights issues within the Third Committee and UNGA. Chonvipat
commented that Thailand understood the merits of both sides
of the argument on the Defamation of Religions resolution,
but would ultimately vote in favor of the resolution at the
plenary session of the UNGA, just as it had in the UNGA's
Third Committee. She justified the decision based on
Thailand's support of freedoms of religion and expression,
but not the right to incite violence through expression, or
religion as a vehicle for violence (Note: all ten ASEAN
countries voted in favor of the resolution in the Third
Committee, and it is likely there was prior coordination on
the resolution).
JOHN

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