Press Releases : Regional Roundtable on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons  and Prospects for a Ban Treaty Media Center

Press Releases : Regional Roundtable on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons and Prospects for a Ban Treaty

On 26 – 27 March 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norway-based International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) jointly hosted the Regional Roundtable on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons and Prospects for a Ban Treaty, to exchange views on how to support bringing the principles of humanitarian law to bear on considerations of the impact of nuclear weapons and ways to commence a process to negotiate a ban treaty. The Roundtable was attended by representatives of Governments from the ASEAN region, the larger Asia-Pacific region, Pacific Island states and hosts of previous Conferences on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, as well as representatives of international academia and civil society active in this field.  Participants were received by Ms. Pornprapai Ganjanarintr, Director-General of the Department of International Organisations, who also delivered the opening remarks.

The Roundtable served as a forum for representatives of governments, academia, Non-Government Organisations and civil society to share views on furthering the promotion of the Humanitarian Initiative, addressing problems and obstacles, and closing the ‘legal gap’ in the prohibition of nuclear weapons which will contribute substantively towards efforts on disarmament.  The Roundtable built upon the concepts and ideas from previous Regional Roundtables held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and in Tagaytay, the Phillipines, along with the International Conferences that were held, respectively, in Norway, Mexico and Austria. Additionally, the Bangkok Roundtable was the first to be co-hosted by a Government.

The Roundtable was an opportunity to consider and discuss issues, pending problems, and ways forward on these matters, before the upcoming 2015 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and beyond.  Discussions took place in an open and informal manner.  During the Roundtable, Ambassador Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, Executive Director, Thailand Trade and Economic Office (Taipei) and Member of the UN International Law Commission (ILC), made a presentation and led discussions on closing the legal gap on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

The humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons is an agenda that is gaining wider support and significance within the international community, together with related issues such as the establishment of Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones (NWFZ’s) in various regions.  This includes the Southeast - Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty, or Bangkok Treaty, signed in 1995.  Thailand is the depository state of the said treaty.

Thailand has continued to place importance on disarmament and non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The Royal Thai Government has had an active and constructive role in numerous international mechanisms with the aim to promote international peace and security, and in line with Thailand’s candidature for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the term 2017 – 2018.

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