Princess named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador

16641032_10154994376124547_8270982567186682090_nFollowing in her family’s tradition and commitment to public service, HRH Princess Bajarakitiyabha Mahidol was named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador on the Rule of Law for Southeast Asia last week by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, which noted her work on strengthening judicial systems and advocating for better treatment for women prisoners.

Princess Bajarakitiyabha is the eldest daughter of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. She is a true ‘working royal,’ having served as Thailand’s ambassador to Austria, worked in the Offices of the Attorneys General in Bangkok and Udon Thani, and in Thailand’s permanent mission to the United Nations. The Princess holds two degrees from Cornell University’s Law School: a Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.

“I am looking forward to working with the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Southeast Asia team to reduce crime and violence, protect vulnerable groups and challenge corruption, while contributing to the global effort to strengthen the rule of law. Working together, we can achieve the 2030 U.N. Sustainable Development Agenda within a generation. I am proud to be a part of this effort,” the Princess said in a video message accepting the appointment.

Rule of law falls under the 16th U.N. Sustainable Development Goal: Peace, justice and strong institutions, and also relates to the 10th goal of reducing inequalities. Rule of law and fighting corruption have been described as key pillars of Goal 16.

Kittipong Kittayarak, who heads the Thailand Institute of Justice, said that the Princess’ new role coupled with her experience at home and abroad would have positive reverberations. “She has long been working in this scope and has a doctorate in justice. Her task as Goodwill Ambassador on the Rule of Law will present us with an opportunity to further improve our justice system at both regional and global levels,” Kittipong said.

Jeremy Douglas, the UNODC regional representative for Southeast Asia echoed that view. “It is an incredible opportunity for us all because she is already a practitioner in this field and has valuable experience in the justice system, as she has long been working to improve the condition of women prisoners and vulnerable groups,” Douglas said.

Princess Bajarakitiyabha was the first grandchild of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who studied constitutional law as a prince in Switzerland. She was born on December 7, 1978.

Photo courtesy of  Facebook@Bajrakitiyabha