Thailand | Surakiart Sathirathai | india | Hindustan Times
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Thailand | Surakiart Sathirathai

The Deputy Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister of Thailand is an expert in international law, finance, and economic development.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2006 20:18 IST

"No question facing the international community is more urgent than whether Asia's economic, political and cultural rise will be peaceful and Asia's increasing prosperity widely shared."

- Surakiart Sathirathai, Deputy Prime Minister

In 1995, Dr Surakiart became Thailand's youngest Finance Minister under Prime Minister Banharn Silapa-Archa.

An expert in international law, finance, and economic development, Dr Surakiart has over twenty years of experience in academia, government, and business, including terms as Foreign Minister, Finance Minister, and policy advisor to the Prime Minister.

His chances at UN

Upside:The job has traditionally gone to a citizen of a non-aligned country, and Surakiart fits that bill. Plus, he has the most support from Asia.

All 10-member nations of ASEAN have endorsed his candidacy.

Flipside:Surakiart, an early favourite, might have been campaigning a little too aggressively, a little too early.

Surakiart's biggest champion - the controversial Thai PM Shinawatra, might lead to his downfall.

His crackdown on Muslims in southern Thailand doesn't play well among Muslim UN members.

At only 47-year-old, some may believe he's a little too young to lead the world body.

(Foreign Policy Journal)

He has a record of successful management reform in difficult circumstances, having spearheaded the reform and privatisation of major Thai enterprises, reformed the operations of the Thai Foreign Ministry and having instituted major curricular changes at the Faculty of Law at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

He has deep experience in international negotiation, both diplomatic and commercial, and a record of strengthening multilateral cooperation across Asia.

Sathirathai UN Plans

• Work for peace

• Poverty alleviation

• Democracy and effective governance

• Human rights and humanitarianism


Surakiart was the first Thai to earn a doctorate in law from Harvard Law School.

His doctoral thesis, "An Understanding of the Relationship Among International Legal Discourse About Development, Third World Countries, and International Peace," (1985) explored the global trade law regime from the perspective of the third world.

He later co-edited Third World Attitudes Toward International Law: An Introduction (1987) and authored various articles on law and development.

From the late 1980s until the late 1990s, Surakiart taught in the Faculty of Law at Chulalongkorn University and ultimately became Dean.