Thailand: A Committed Partner in Fighting WMD Proliferation
Representatives from 70 Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) endorsing countries, including Thailand, gathered in Washington, D.C. on 27 January 2016 to participate in the PSI Mid-Level Political Meeting (MLPM).
The meeting, chaired by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, Thomas Countryman, aimed to review the status of the commitment the PSI endorsing countries made at the 2013 High-Level Political Meeting (HLPM) in Poland, look at ways to further strengthen PSI, and build momentum leading up to the next High-Level Political Meeting in 2018.
Since joining PSI in 2012, Thailand has been an active member and has made significant achievements in four areas under the four Joint Statements agreed upon by over 70 participating states at the 2013 HLPM. These four areas are (1) Ensuring a Robust Initiative; (2) Enhancing Critical Capabilities and Practices; (3) Expanding Strategic Communications; and (4) Strengthening Authorities for Actions.
Ambassador Pisan Manawapat, represented Thailand as the Head of Delegation, made a remark on the country’s key achievements, particularly the efforts toward Strengthening Authorities for Actions. Thailand has improved coordination among relevant agencies relating to non-proliferation matters; amended the Customs Act to empower customs officials to inspect, search and confiscate suspected merchandise in transit or transshipment without requiring a warrant; strengthened control over dual-use items; and is moving ahead with amendments to domestic laws to pave the way for Thailand to join a number of key international instruments on non-proliferation. Thailand also proposed more intelligence sharing among PSI countries and capacity-building for relevant officials as ways for member countries to better tackle challenges relating to proliferation. (Click here for Ambassador’s Remarks)
The 2016 PSI MLPM ended with great success, but it certainly is not an end of Thailand’s efforts in nonproliferation. Rather, Thailand remains committed to strengthen PSI leading up to the next High-Level Political Meeting in 2018 and beyond.