Letter from Deputy PM of Thailand

22 January 2013

Sixty-seven years ago, the world learned of the immediate catastrophic effects of a nuclear bomb in Hiroshima. Today, the scars remain to be seen in the long-term physical and mental impacts on human beings, as well as the environmental blight.

Since then, the international community has made prominent efforts to reach the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. Although we might not be there yet, the international community, through various international legal mechanisms, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), has made significant progress with commitments towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

I wish to assure you of Thailand’s unwavering commitment to the principles of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy – the three pillars of the NPT. We have been actively involved in the establishment of the Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ), and urge nuclear-weapon states to sign the Protocol to the treaty on SEANWFZ at the earliest opportunity, in order to allow the treaty to be fundamentally effective.

We are firmly committed to ratifying the CTBT at the earliest opportunity. At the regional level, Thailand also plays a leading role in the establishment of a network of nuclear regulatory bodies in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – one of the objectives of which is to cooperate in the areas of nuclear safeguards in the region, and we urge the international community to support such efforts.

In this spirit, I applaud the commendable “Paper Crane Project” of the Hiroshima Youth Committee of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). It deserves special recognition and support from governments, non-governmental organizations and advocates who are actively committed towards the common goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

I believe that your efforts will inspire more young people around the world to pursue this noble cause and together we will eventually produce concrete and tangible results that go well beyond a symbolic triumph.

Surapong Tovichakchaikul

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand

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