Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai has defended his suitability as a candidate for the position of United Nations (UN) secretary-general, and says the country has nothing to lose if he fails.
"Even if I fail to get elected, there is no damage to anyone or to the country since during my campaign I've helped smooth out misunderstandings and potential issues, for example by explaining the southern problem to many Muslim countries and seeking reinstallation of the EU's generalized scheme of preferences for Thai shrimps," he was quoted by Thai newspaper the Nation on Thursday.
Surakiart said he was experienced in academia, politics, business and international affairs.
Surakiart also denied allegations that his team used inappropriate tactics, including attempting bribery.
"After all, it is not the first time Thailand has put forward candidates for jobs in international organizations," the former foreign minister said.
"Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, after a long fight, served half a term as director-general of the World Trade Organization and Thailand's reputation is still fine."
Surakiart also outlined the platform for his candidacy to succeed Kofi Annan when he completes his second term late this year on six key platforms:
The UN must adopt a "conflict avoidance" role through preventive diplomacy to ensure basic human rights for people, and strengthen communications links with its constituents, including non-governmental organizations and academics.
To achieve management reform the secretary-general needed true administrative power in areas of staffing and at the same time must play the role of diplomat.
This would need a business-like administrative system, such as a chief operating/executive officer, Surakiart said. Agencies dealing with disaster relief must be better coordinated and the UN head must be able to adapt quickly to developing circumstances, such as the spread of communicable diseases like bird flu.