By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
HER Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, who was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador on the Rule of Law for Southeast Asia, has pledged to move forward with the principle of rule of law in the region in line with the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) told the press yesterday that the Princess had been chosen as goodwill ambassador due to her enduring passion for the judicial system and also because she has been a professional practitioner in the field for a long time.
In her opening remarks delivered via video message, the Princess said the appointment offered her the opportunity to champion the UN’s position on the rule of law and fairness in the criminal justice system. She added that it would help to achieve the bold vision of the United Nation’s 2030 agenda.
“I am looking forward to working with the UNODC Southeast Asia team to reduce crime and violence, protect vulnerable groups and challenge corruption, while contributing to the global effort to strengthen the rule of law,” she said. “Working together, we can achieve the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda within a generation. I am proud to be a part of this effort.”
As goodwill ambassador, the Princess will raise awareness of the UNODC Regional Programme for Southeast Asia and its connection with the rule of law, peace, stability and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
She will first participate in two high-level global and regional events in March, before attending other events over the course of the year.
UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov said Her Royal Highness would bring tremendous commitment, dedication and energy in delivering the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
“Her invaluable experience enables her to speak with authority on the need for effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. I have no doubt she will play a significant role in the region on UNODC’s behalf,” Fedotov said.
Jeremy Douglas, UNODC regional representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said he was very pleased that the Princess was joining the UNODC to advance the rule of law and justice reform in region.
“It is an incredible opportunity for us all because she is already a practitioner in this field and has valuable experience in the justice system, as she has long been working to improve the condition of women prisoners and vulnerable groups,” Douglas said.
He said the Princess had also helped to organise the 2013 Bangkok Dialogue on the Rule of Law to promote justice, security and the rule of law as necessary for sustainable development and to build political momentum for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
In addition, she has also served as the Ambassador for Thailand to the UN in Vienna and participated in the UN General Assembly’s Economic and Social Council’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
Thailand Institute of Justice executive director Kittipong Kittayarak said that with this new task the Princess could further develop her mission in the justice system.
“She has long been working in this scope and has a doctorate in justice. Her task as Goodwill Ambassador on the Rule of Law will present us with an opportunity to further improve our justice system at both regional and global levels,” Kittipong said.