Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand's Press Release
on the Act on Privileges and Immunities for
International Organizations and International Conferences in Thailand
On 6th September 2018, the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand approved the draft Act on Privileges and Immunities for International Organizations and International Conferences in Thailand. The draft Act will enter into force on the next day following its publication in the Royal Thai Government Gazette.
The Act will serve as an important tool in supporting the government’s policy in promoting Thailand as a hub for international organizations as well as international conferences, namely intergovernmental conferences and those organized by the private sector. As a platform for international dialogue, Thailand will gain a higher profile and visibility in the international fora and be able to pursue an active foreign policy, as a promoter of the shared values of the global community. Furthermore, the Act will give Thailand an opportunity to create a valuable network, promote the transfer of knowledge and capacity-building for Thai nationals, as well as generate a positive impact on Thailand’s economy, trade and tourism.
Currently, Thailand hosts 28 United Nations (UN) and Specialized Agencies and 18 non-UN organizations. There are about 10 organizations which have expressed interest in establishing an office in Thailand.
The Act will be a framework legislation for granting privileges and immunities to international organizations and other beneficiaries as defined in the Act. The Act aims to expedite the process of setting up an office of an international organization and organizing a conference in Thailand. Such privileges and immunities are granted based on the principle of functional necessity and is comparable to similar laws on privileges and immunities in other countries, such as the United States, Austria, Switzerland, Kenya, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
The Act grants privileges and immunities to the following beneficiaries: (1) international organizations (intergovernmental and quasi-governmental organizations) and its personnel (2) international cooperation fora (such as APEC, BIMSTEC and ACMECS) and its personnel and (3) intergovernmental conferences. The Act also grants benefits for international conferences organized by the private sector, which will support the government’s policy on the promotion of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry.
With this Act, Thailand aims to promote its constructive role and contribute to the international agenda of cooperation and partnership, reaffirming its positioning as “Geneva of Asia”.
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