Joined UNESCO: 01/01/1949

Hosts the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) - Bangkok.

Head of State and/or Government

King of Thailand: His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun
Prime Minister: H.E. Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha

Permanent Delegation to UNESCO

H. E. Mr Sarun Charoensuwan
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to France, Permanent Delegate (07/02/2019)

Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of Thailand to UNESCO
Maison de l'UNESCO 1, rue Miollis M 2.27 / 2.28 / 2.29 75732 Paris Cedex 15

National Commission for UNESCO

Chairperson: Mr Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, M.D.

Vice Chairperson: Dr. Chaipreuk Sereerak

Secretary-General: Dr Watanaporn RA-NGUBTOOK

Thailand National Commission for UNESCO
Bureau of International Cooperation Ministry of Education Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue, Dusit Bangkok 10300 Kingdom of Thailand
(66) 2628 5646/9
(66) 2281 0953
thainatcom(a); churasan97(a) (SG)
Web site

Read more National Commission for UNESCO

Representation in the Executive Board

The 1991 amendment modified Article V of the Constitution, regarding the status of members of the Board. From the 27th session of the General Conference (1993), the Executive Board consists of Member States rather than of persons (26 C/Resolution 19.3).
Title Name Years Sessions
MemberMom Luang Pin Malakul1952-195632-45
MemberMr Kaw Swasdi Panich1980-1985111-122
MemberMr Adul Wichiencharoen1989-1993133-142

Participation in subsidiary organs

Organs elected by the General Conference

Council of the UNESCO International Bureau of Education
Bureau Member
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)
Intergovernmental Council of the "Management of Social Transformations" Programme
Vice-President : Mr Surichai Wun'gaeo, Professsor, Director, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Chulalongkorn University
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)
Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication
Bureau Member
Member (Term expires : 41st General Conference)
Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)

Other intergovernmental organs

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Vice-President : Dr Somkiat Khokiattiwong

Addresses delivered in the general policy debate by the Head of Delegation at the General Conference

37 session of the General Conference

His Excellency, Mr Chaturon Chaisang, Minister of Education of Thailand

Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 37th session of the General Conference - revised and corrected version of the verbatim records of plenary meetings

37 session of the General Conference

Minister of Education of Thailand, Mr Chaturon Chaisangn

Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 37th session of the General Conference - revised and corrected version of the verbatim records of plenary meetings

36 session of the General Conference

H.E. Mr Sasithara PICHAICHANNARONG, Permanent Secretary for Education

Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 36th session of the General Conference and posted as received

35 session of the General Conference

H.E. Mr Jurin Laksanawisit, Minister of Education

“I would like to commend Mr Matsuura for his commitment and dedication to the Organization during his ten-year term in service.”
“Thailand fully supports UNESCO’s proposal to the General Conference for the allocation of $653 million for the next two years’ programmes and budgets. In this regard we agree that Education for All (EFA) is the highest priority (…). Thailand would be delighted to host once again the ten high level group on EFA in 2011.”
“Regarding education development in Thailand this year we have initiated the second decade of education reform forecasting on three aspects and for news for education. The three aspects are quality, opportunity and participation for all sectors. The four views are being addressed through projects decide to create a new generation of Thais, new teachers, new educational institutes and learning resources as well as a new administration and management system. Several new projects have already been initiated, among them is the 15-years free education programme provided for all citizens, ranging from kindergarten to graduate covering basic education, technical and vocational education and non-formal education. The (…) project (…) will (…) provide free education up to bachelors degree level. I believe that what we are doing is aligning with the goals of Education for All.”
“As president of the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization Council or SEAMEO Council, I am pleased to report that as a region we are united in working towards achievement of the EFA goals. We plan to enhance overall quality and standards of higher education in the region and develop mechanisms to support credit transfer and the mutual recognition of professional qualifications in the future. SEAMEO Regional Centre for Higher Education and Research Development based in Bangkok has been assigned to take charge of this initiative.”
“UNESCO’s priority on Africa is strongly supported. Thailand is among the countries ready to share our achievement in technical and vocational education and higher education with the African countries.”
“(…) Thailand reaffirms its commitment to the work of UNESCO and we’ll continue to provide our full support to UNESCO’s regional offices for each year and specifically in Bangkok.”

34 session of the General Conference

H.E. Prof Wichit Srisa-an, Minister of Education, Chairperson of the Thai National Commission for UNESCO

Thailand welcomes the Republic of Montenegro and the Republic of Singapore on their joining the UNESCO.
“Thailand supports the Director-General’s proposal of a budget scenario for the next biennium with a ceiling of $631 million.”
“Thailand continues to give high priority to Education for All […]. In the framework of the Dakar Action Plan, the progress has been made in quantity, due to multiple efforts of different States.”
“However, regarding quality of education, it is clear that there are serious gaps to be bridged. Vast inequalities can still be seen between different groups of people, particularly between urban and rural areas. UNESCO should, therefore, in the remaining years to 2015, focus on the improvement of quality and lead the way to increase relevance of education to ensure linkage between what is taught in schools and the real world.”
“During the past decade, we have witnessed the rapid deterioration of the environment […] As an agency dealing with education, science and culture, I would like to support UNESCO’s full efforts in raising awareness of the entire population.”
Thailand will launch the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development in November this year to commemorate the 80th birthday anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej, Sustainable development coincides indeed with the Sufficiency Economy Theory, a development philosophy initiated by the King himself.
“As a part of the sustainable development agenda, we must also continue to work towards realizing the goals of UNESCO International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence of the World […] UNESCO should give high priority to the promotion of intercultural dialogue.”
“The increased visibility of UNESCO depends on effective communications. We strongly urge UNESCO to be more active in public relations campaign through mass media and all types of communication to increase public awareness of UNESCO’s noble mission and contribution to peace and well being of humankind for six decades.”

Celebration of anniversaries

100th anniversary of the birth of Kamphol Vacharaphol, educator (1919-1996) (Thailand, with the support of Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam)

Kamphol Vacharaphol devoted the last part of his life to promoting formal education for those in rural and remote areas of Thailand. He did this by building new schools, which now add up to 101 schools with 30,000 students and form part of the Thai Rath Witthaya network. He introduced civic duty studies as a new subject, along with media literacy, in an effort to promote civic values. His work contributes to ED's goals to provide learning opportunities for all, ensure the inclusion of vulnerable groups, and further global citizenship education. (ED)

150th anniversary of the birth of Chao Phaya Prasadej Surendrathibodi (M.R. Pia Malakul), educator (1867- 1916) (with the support of the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam) (2017)

M.R. Pia Malakul is one of the forefathers of modern education in Thailand at the time the kingdom began to negotiate its transformation in the context of spreading colonial influence in the region. He was among the first Thai people to receive an overseas education. Under the blessing of King Rama V, Pia came back from Europe with a plan to open universities in Thailand. Pia served as the head of the Education Department before he finally climbed to the top post, the equivalent of today’s education minister. In recognition of his great contributions, Pia was named Chao Phraya Phrasadej Surendradhibodi.

100th anniversary of the birth of Puey Ungphakorn, educator and economist (1916-1999) (with the support of the Philippines and Viet Nam) (2016)

Dr Puey is widely considered one of the fathers of Thailand’s post World War II economic development as well as a prominent educator and civil servant of impeccable ethics who has had a major impact on national development. He has played a central role in the shaping of Thailand’s economic development and in the strengthening of its system of higher education. His capacity to strike a compromise between what was objectively possible and morally desirable was an extraordinary accomplishment. It had a particular impact on younger people, almost all of whose models have traditionally been either successful rogues who manipulate their social environment for their own advantage or martyrs who succumb to it. Dr Puey has also had a far-ranging regional impact, as evidenced by his Magsaysay Award in government service, considered to be the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize. The career of Dr Puey Ungphakorn confirms that a single individual can make significant contributions to the progress of his count.

100th anniversary of the birth of Princess Prem (Ngarmchit) Purachatra (1915-1983) (2015)

Princess Prem (Ngarmchit) Purachatra was a granddaughter-in-law of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who was the grandfather of King Bhumibol (Rama IX). Princess Prem Purachatra had a notable impact on Thailand, particularly in the communication and culture sectors, as well as contributing to overall societal wellbeing. Her work to establish a leading English-language newspaper was an important development in modern journalism in Thailand. On the regional and global stage, she was an outstanding advocate for the role of women, serving as president of the International Council of Women during 1976-1979 (the first and only Thai woman, and the second Asian ever elected to the position). Some of the institutions that she founded, such as the Asian Handicraft Promotion and Development Association, continue to be partners in delivering UNESCO’s work to this day, which demonstrates their relevance and importance. It would be advantageous for UNESCO to associate with the anniversary and to endorse a positive female role-model who has made positive contributions to her country in general, and to some extent to the region.

100th anniversary of King Prajadhipok of Siam's commencement of service in Thailand and anniversary of the 10th Asian cycle of his birth (1914) (2014)

King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) played a significant role in improving the Thai educational system and strongly supported the process of democratization in Thailand. During his nine-year reign, King Prajadhipok initiated educational programmes which contributed to the provision of basic education for all children and the advancement of girls’ and women’s education at different levels. His reform of Chulalongkorn University was an important development in the higher education sub-sector. Recognizing HM King Prajadhipok’s contribution to Thai education system will have a major impact in advocating for UNESCO's mandate in the field of education.

150th anniversary of the birth of Her Majesty Queen Sri Bajarindra (1864-1919) (2014)

An important and enormously well-respected figure in Thai history, H.M. Queen Sri Bajarindra was H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s great aunt. She made a significant contribution to advancing education for girls and women in Thailand, and founded many leading schools for women in the country. As the consort and also Regent of Thailand’s great King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), she played an important role in intercultural dialogue through several historic visits and exchanges with Europe, Japan and other Southeast Asian countries. It should be noted that Queen Sri Bajarindra is sister to Queen Sri Savarindira, who was recognized in the UNESCO Calendar of Anniversaries of Great Personalities and Historic Events for 2012-2013, and great-grand-aunt to HRH Princess Sirindhorn who is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

  • 150th anniversary of the birth of Queen Sri Savarindira, Queen Grandmother of Thailand (1862-1955) (2012)

  • The Queen Grandmother continues to be revered to this day in Thailand for her foresight in many fields of development and humanitarian assistance. Her enduring concern for and personal patronage of medical and educational services for the welfare of the people, particularly the rural poor, has in many ways set the path for the benevolent actions of the present-day King and other members of Thailand’s royal family. Of particular note was her role in founding the country’s Red Cross Society. On an international level, she helped to enhance the country’s diplomatic relations.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Boonlua Debyasuvarn, teacher and educator (1911-1982) (2012)

  • M.L. Boonlua is widely acknowledged as one of Thailand’s foremost educators during a critical period of the country’s modernization. Through her lifetime of service as a teacher, educational administrator, language and literature specialist and a writer, she can be rightly hailed as a beacon for advancing not only education, but also intercultural dialogue within Thailand and the region at large. Through her work and by personal example, she was also a tireless advocate for girls and women. In this regard, the commemoration of her centennial birth anniversary in 2012 by UNESCO would be fitting recognition given her contribution to UNESCO’s mandate both directly and indirectly.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Kukrit Pramoj (1911-1995) (2011)

  • M.R. Kukrit Pramoj (1911-1995) was a Thai politician, writer, journalist and scholar. He was the thirteenth Prime Minister of Thailand, serving in office from 1975 to 1976. He is also known as a veritable “Thai public intellectual” and a great Thai writer. Kukrit Pramoj was a prolific writer in prose as well as poetry. His short story Morm has been proclaimed as one of the best national short stories. It narrates the career of a stray mongrel through the ups and downs of his master’s fortunes.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Euah Suntornsanan, composer (1910-1981) (2010)

  • A prolific and talented composer and bandleader, Euah Sunthornsanan was a pioneer in introducing Western music into Thai popular culture. In the 1940s, he founded the Suntaraporn which is Thailand’s best-known big band. He has extensively performed in Thailand but also in other countries in the region such as Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia or China. Through his music and songs he successfully contributed to generating forces for peace and harmony among South-East Asian countries. The celebration of the centenary of his birth will no doubt provide an excellent opportunity to promote a better understanding of his unique contribution through the universal language of music.

    200th anniversary of His Royal Highness Krom Luang Wongsa Dhiraj Snid, scholar and poet (1808-1871) (2008)

    His Royal Highness Krom Luang Wongsa Dhiraj Snid (1808–1871) was a remarkable personality, who promoted the culture of peace through dialogue among civilizations, reflecting UNESCO’s objectives to promote closer relations among peoples through tolerance, mutual understanding and respect for cultural diversity. His commitment to “negotiation and dialogue among civilizations” made him prominent in the international community, particularly in Asia, Europe and the United States of America. He initiated and introduced policies emphasizing peace and harmony with European countries by signing several treaties. At the same time, he was a prolific writer who published various works in the fields of literature, history, politics and particularly in traditional herbal medicine. In recognition of his merits as an intellectual, poet, peace activist, scientist and diplomat, many academic organizations and foundations honoured him by inviting him to be an active member.

    100th anniversary of the birth of the Venerable Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (1906-1993) (2006)

    A pioneer in the promotion of the inter-religious understanding through dialogue among people of different faiths, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, a famous Buddhist monk, was highly respected worldwide. He left his monastery to rediscover the integration of Buddhism in the world and the spirit of its origins. His emphasis on the interdependence of all things made of him a precursor of ecological thought and a champion of peace among nations. His writings, which have been translated and published in many languages, have had a very considerable influence on the renewal of Buddhist thinking. The thoughts expressed have the potential to guide not only Thailand, but also all societies struggling to create a just and equitable social, political and economic order.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Kulap Saipradit (2005)

  • A writer, journalist and teacher, Kulap Saipradit (1905-1974) is currently recognized as one of the most significant figures of modern Asian literature. A tireless campaigner for peace and social justice, he has been translated into several languages (English, Chinese, Japanese and Russian), and many essays have been written on his work.

  • 200th anniversary of the birth of King Mongkut, Rama IV (2004)

  • King Mongkut (1804-1868) was an outstanding personality in his own country and beyond it inasmuch as he kept the Thai realm out of the reach of colonizers. At the same time, he modernized his country introducing scientific technologies and innovations in many fields while safeguarding the Thai culture through its spirituality by promoting research and studies on Buddhism and its sacred texts and languages. He also endeavoured to free his people from slavery, which was an ancient custom, and provide for widespread education not only for the nobility, but as much as possible, for everyone.

  • 150th anniversary of the birth of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V (2003)

  • Among the outstanding works of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V (1853-1895) are the abolition of slavery and the application of peaceful ways to resolve conflicts. He made a remarkable contribution to sustainable happiness in life for the Thai people over a long period. The association of UNESCO with the celebration of commemorative activities could demonstrate ways of translating UNESCO’s objectives (i.e. sustainable development, cultural awareness and human rights) into action, which could possibly be followed by other countries.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Mom Luang Pin Malakul (2003)

  • Mom Luang Pin Malakul (1903-1995) helped the advancement of education at all levels in Thailand. A prolific writer, he also contributed to the literary arts and the safeguarding and conservation of historical monuments and sites. His works had an impact on Thailand’s innovative education programme leading to the creation of the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization – SEMEO – located in Bangkok.

  • Hundredth anniversary of the birth of Somdet Phra Srinagarindra (2000)

  • Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Baromarajajanani is known in Asia and worldwide as the Princess Mother. For various ethnic groups of the hill tribes, the Princess Mother is Mae Fah Luan (the Royal Mother from the sky). For the rest of the people in the country, the Princess Mother is Somdet Ya (the Royal Grand Mother). Both appellations signify a deep feeling of reverence, love, and gratitude for her lifelong dedication to the noble cause of betterment of the well-being of the people in remote and isolated areas, particularly hill tribes, the rural poor, the illiterate, the sick, the handicapped, and children.

  • Hundredth anniversary of the birth of Pridi Banomyong (2000)

  • Pridi Banomyong was a Thai statesman who was a Minister then Prime Minister (1946-1947) and one of the founding fathers of the constitutional monarchy.

  • Seven hundredth anniversary of the city of Chiang Mai in Thailand (12 April 1996).

  • Chiang Mai or the ‘Rose of the North’ is the principal city of northern Thailand; it is situated in a region known as the ‘land of art and crafts’ and is distinguished by its cultural autonomy, having its own dialect, traditional costumes, dances and even cuisine.
    Considered to be one of the country’s most important historic and cultural towns, it possesses an abundance of religious monuments from different periods and plays the role of a regional religious, economic and cultural centre.
    The Government of Thailand is planning to issue commemorative stamps and coins and to establish a centre for arts and culture; it is also considering the restoration of certain archaeological sites and the organization of the sixth conference on Thailand on the themes of the city and population of Chiang Mai.

  • Fiftieth anniversary of the accession to the throne of His Majesty the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej (9 June 1996).

  • Centenary of the birth of H.R.H. Prince Mahidol of Songkhla (1992)

  • Prince Mahidol, known as the Father of Modern Medical Sciences in Thailand, devoted
    his life to the institutional development of the teaching of basic sciences and
    medical education, which form part of UNESCO's field of activities.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Phya Anuman Rajadhon (Thailand) (1988)

  • Reference document: 24 C/Resolutions + CORR

  • Bicentenary of the birth of Sunthon Phu (1987)

  • 100th anniversary of birth of Frederick Delius (Thailand) (1963)

  • Reference document: 61 EX/16

    100th anniversary of the birth of Simon Flexner (Thailand) (1963)

    U.S. pathologist who, in 1906, introduced serum therapy for meningitis.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of H.R.H. Prince Narisranuwatwong (Thailand) (1963)

  • Reference document: 61 EX/16

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of H.R.H. Prince Damrong Rajanubhap (Thailand) (1962)

  • Reference document: 60 EX/13

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Maurice Maeterlinck (Thailand) (1962)

  • Reference document: 60 EX/13