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Thailand’s Peacekeeping Role in Southeast Asia
Vision Statement: The Royal Thai Government and the Royal Thai Armed Forces have a vision of increased national peacekeeping capacity and a more active role in promoting peace, stability, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region. By developing an effective training system, peace operations doctrine, and developing our trainers to UN-certified standards, Thailand will achieve the self-sustainable capability to train officers throughout Asia, be able to promote peace, and become a regional leader in peace operations. Strategy: To realize this vision within the next five years, Thailand will focus on five areas: 1. Development of Peacekeeping doctrine. 2. Develop UN-certified instructor cadres and curriculum.
3. Development and conduct of individual and collective training courses. 4. Building peace operations training centers at the Supreme Command Headquarters in Bangkok, and the Royal Thai Army Infantry Center in Prajuabkirikhan 5. Utilize EIPC and APRI funding to advance our overall vision and strategy.
Thai National Policies One of the aims of national policy is “To develop close military cooperation and good understanding among other neighboring armed forces and ASEAN (based on foreign policy), to support World Peace Keeping”. On 15 September 1998, the cabinet approved in principle, Thailand applying the UN Stand-By Arrangement System. In addition, on 18 September 1998, Thailand provided a list of capabilities (level 1) to the UN and has updated those lists every year. In response to this governmental policy, Ministry of Defense policy echoes the aim “To develop close military cooperation among other neighbor armed forces and ASEAN in order to decrease suspicion, contribute to peace building, support humanitarian operations and the positive benefits this has to Thailand”. On 17 December 2000, The Minister of Defense approved the establishment of a Peace Operations Division as an organic unit of J-3, serving as the Supreme Command Peace Operations Center. These policies are reflected in the Supreme Command Headquarters long term and annual policy that “The Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) should cooperate with the UN in Peace Keeping and Humanitarian operations” In addition, the operations policy of the Supreme Commander (2003) states that “The RTARF should have training for Peace Keeping Operations (PKOs) to support the UN by developing a Peace Operations Centre and subsequent training regimes ” Thailand has subsequently deployed forces on several missions including UN, INTERFET and also Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, with the emphasis on peace operations and humanitarian operations. The RTARF is also involved at a regional level with ceasefire monitoring in Aceh.
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