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05BANGKOK1507 UNESCAP: May’s “High-level” Ministerial to Highlight Tsunami Issues

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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BANGKOK 001507

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/BCLTV, EB/IFD/ODF, TSUNAMI TASKFORCE

 

DEPT FOR OES/PCI, OES/IET/ETC/OA/EGC, IO, IO/EDA:SSTOFEL

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAID KUNR OVIP SENV SOCI TPHY ID IN IR FJ TH ESCAP

SUBJECT: UNESCAP: May’s “High-level” Ministerial to Highlight

Tsunami Issues

 

 

SIPDIS

 

— SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY —

 

¶1. (SBU) SUMARRY: At the February 24 meeting of UNESCAP’s

(United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and

the Pacific) Permanent Representatives, Executive Secretary

Kim Hak-Su announced a High-level Tsunami Panel for the May

12-18 ministerial that would include select prime ministers

of tsunami-affected countries and the UN Special Envoy,

former President Bill Clinton. Rejecting a handful of calls

for a more general panel on natural disasters, Kim argued

that ESCAP would be negligent if it glossed over the tsunami

disaster when ESCAP is the logical regional forum to address

it. We believe that sending a high-ranking US delegation to

the May conference would send a strong message to the region

of our continued long-term commitment in the wake of the

tsunami disaster. End Summary.

 

SIPDIS

 

¶2. (U) Executive Secretary Mr. Kim Hak-Su announced a new

addition for the ministerial segment of the Commission’s

sixty-first annual conference to be held May 12-18, 2005, a

High-level Panel on Tsunami Recovery Development. Mr. Kim

explained that Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

had already been invited to sit on the panel, which he

envisioned would include 4-5 high level people, possibly

including Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Indian

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He announced his intention to

invite Former President Bill Clinton, recently announced UN

Special Envoy for Tsunami-affected Countries by Secretary

General Kofi Annan, to chair the panel.

 

¶3. (U) The high level Tsunami panel was generally well

received, though a handful of delegates questioned focusing

exclusively on tsunamis versus having a more general panel on

natural disasters. The Indian Permrep cautioned that with so

many international tsunami meetings scheduled, countries

might begin to experience “meeting fatigue.” The Iranian and

Fijian Permreps, noting their countries’ vulnerability to

earthquakes and cyclones respectively, also raised the

possibility of a more general disaster panel. Dr. Kim was

unwavering; he explained that the Asian Tsunami had occurred

in the ESCAP region and that the Commission would be

negligent if it did not specifically address the

unprecedented disaster which had occurred in its own

backyard. Kim implied that a general disaster panel missed

the point, the world’s attention is on the Asian Tsunami and

ESCAP is the ideal international forum to address it.

 

¶4. (SBU) COMMENT: Dr. Kim has shown he clearly recognizes

the need to reform ESCAP and make it relevant. We believe

the high-level tsunami panel is a capital idea that can help

raise ESCAP’s profile and transform it into an effective and

relevant force in the region. And, we believe that sending a

high-ranking US delegation to the May conference would send a

strong, high visibility message to the region of our

continued long-term commitment in the wake of the tsunami

disaster, and we look forward to working with Washington

agencies in securing high level U.S. participation. We will

continue to provide updates on planning for the May tsunami

conference. End Comment.

 

 

Boyce

Written by thaicables

August 26, 2011 at 5:40 am

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