Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Thailand)

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Kingdom of Thailand
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

กระทรวงการต่างประเทศ
Seal of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.png
"The Seal of the Crystal Lotus" is the Ministry's seal.
Ministry overview
Formed 14 April 1840

(etc.)
Jurisdiction Government of Thailand
Headquarters Sri Ayutthaya Building, 443 Sri Ayutthaya Rd. Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400 Thailand
Annual budget 7,902,200,000 Baht (2012)
Minister responsible Thanasak Patimaprakorn (Military), Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry executive Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry
Website www.mfa.go.th

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Thai: กระทรวงการต่างประเทศ; RTGS: Krasuang Kan Tang Prathet; Abrv: MFA) is the principal government department in charge of foreign relations in Thailand. The ministry is headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs; who is also a member of the Cabinet of Thailand, he is appointed by the Prime Minister. The Ministry is primarily in charge of formulating and executing foreign policies for the Kingdom of Thailand. The Ministry is also in charge of managing and maintaining Thai diplomatic missions around the globe. The last Minister of Foreign Affairs before the coup d'etat of 22 May 2014 was Surapong Tovichakchaikul. Since the coup, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the name the military gives to themselves, orders that all ministerial power and responsibilities would be carried out by each ministry's permanent secretary. In the case of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Sihasak Phuangketkeow is now acting for foreign minister.

History[edit]

Kromma Tha and Phra Khlang redirect here

Prior to the creation of the Ministry, much of the country’s foreign relations were handled exclusively by the absolute monarchs of the day. During the Kingdom of Ayutthaya foreign relations were handled by the Krom Phra Khlang” (Thai: กรมพระคลัง) (or the Treasury Department). The Head of the department was known as "Phra Khlang" (Thai: พระคลัง) and occasionally referred to as "Berguelang" or "Barcelon" by foreign authors. The famous 17th-century Siamese Ambassador to France Kosa Pan was the younger brother of King Narai’s “Phra Khlang” Kosathibodi. Soon after a sub-department was created primarily to deal with foreigners called "Kromma Tha" (Thai: กรมท่า, "Port Department").

During the Bangkok Period most of these features were retained. For instance, the Chau Phaya-Phraklang in his capacity as Minister of State on behalf of Jessadabodindra[1] negotiated the Siamese-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce of 1833 with Edmund Roberts in his capacity as Minister of the United States on behalf of President Andrew Jackson.

In 1840, King Mongkut, the successive king, founded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Siam, which was administered directly by the king. The responsibilities and roles of the old “Krom” were shifted to this ministry. Chao Phraya Bhanuwong became the first Foreign Minister of Siam in 1871, appointed by King Chulalongkorn. In 1881 Prince Devavongse Varoprakarn was appointed to replace him. Known today as the father of Thai diplomacy he reorganized and modernized the Ministry to meet 19th century standards. The Ministry was then permanently established at Saranrom Palace, east of the Grand Palace. The Ministry was divided into 7 divisions:[2]

  • Senabodi Division (Ministerial Division)
  • Under-Secretary Division
  • Translation Division
  • Reception Division
  • Accounts Division
  • Filing Division
  • Diplomatic Division
  • Consular Division

Foreign affairs advisers[edit]

From 1892 to 1924, the Siamese government retained the professional legal services of lawyers skilled in international law.

Reorganization[edit]

After the Revolution of 1932, the Ministry came under civilian control and the Minister was made a member of the constitutional government of Siam. The first Minister under this new system was Phraya Sri Visarn Vacha.[5]

See more at: Foreign relations of Thailand

Departments[edit]

Most of the offices of the Ministry were moved to a new grand building complex; Sri Ayutthaya Building, 443 Sri Ayutthaya Rd., Ratchathewi, Bangkok in 1992. This building is on the same premise where the Office of the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) used to stand.

Administration[edit]

  • Office of the Minister
  • Office of the Permanent Secretary

Functional Departments[edit]

  • Department of Consular Affairs
  • Department of Protocol
  • Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency
  • Department of International Economic Affairs
  • Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs
  • Department of Information
  • Department of International Organizations

Regional Departments[edit]

  • Department of European Affairs
  • Department of American and South Pacific Affairs
  • Department of ASEAN Affairs (for cooperation under the framework of the ASEAN group; bilateral relations between Thailand and each ASEAN member is under the East Asian Affairs Department)
  • Department of East Asian Affairs
  • Department of South Asian, Middle East and African Affairs

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, Edmund (Digitized October 12, 2007) [First published in 1837]. "Chapter XX―Division of Time". Embassy to the Eastern courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat : in the U. S. sloop-of-war Peacock ... during the years 1832-3-4 (Digital ed.). Harper & brothers. pp. 310–311. Retrieved April 25, 2012. "[T]he capital [is] called Si-a-Yuthia, (pronounced See-ah-you-té-ah....)" 
  2. ^ http://www.mfa.go.th/web/2680.php
  3. ^ Obias, Peter B. (1972). "Treaty Revision and the Role of the American Foreign Affairs Adviser 1909-1925" (PDF). Journal of the Siam Society (Siam Society). JSS Vol.60.1e (digital). Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ Thamsook Numnonda (1974). "The First American Advisers in Thai History" (PDF). Journal of the Siam Society (Siam Society). JSS Vol.62.2f (digital): image 5. Retrieved September 7, 2013. "The eventful forty-two year reign of King Chulalongkorn of Thailand (1868-1910) was a landmark in Thai history. It was the period that Thailand began to develop herself into a modern state, with the abolition of extrality (extraterritoriality), the negotiations of treaties, the reform of law and judicial administration, and the reorganization of governmental agencies. The achievement of these aims was, in fact, partly due to the work of the "foreign advisers" who shared roles in the affairs of this small Asian country." 
  5. ^ http://www.mfa.go.th/web/2682.php

External links[edit]