Thailand to review WHC pullout

The new Thai government will review the earlier decision to pull out of the World Heritage Committee after a dispute over Preah Vihear. The move kinda confirms my suspicions that the pullout was more of a political gambit related to the recent elections – but we’ll have to wait and see: the review may still recommend that Thailand formally pulls out of the convention.

Govt reviews Heritage pullout
Bangkok Post, 17 August 2011

The cabinet yesterday assigned Foreign Minister Surapong Towijakchaikul to review the Thai World Heritage Committee’s recommendation for Thailand to withdraw its membership from the World Heritage Convention.

Ampol Kitti-ampol, secretary-general to the cabinet, said the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration had made no decision on the recommendation, deciding instead to leave it to the next government.

Mr Ampol said the cabinet suggested Mr Surapong consult relevant government agencies and present his recommendation at the next cabinet meeting.

A government source said if the Thai government still wanted to withdraw from the WHC, it must send a letter of intent to Unesco director-general Irina Bokova.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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