Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Thailand)
"The Seal of the Crystal Lotus"
|Formed||14 April 1840|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Thailand|
|Headquarters||Sri Ayutthaya Building, 443 Sri Ayutthaya Rd, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400|
|Annual budget||7.9 billion baht (2012)|
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Thai: กระทรวงการต่างประเทศ; rtgs: Krasuang Kan Tang Prathet; Abrv: MFA) is the principal governmental 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 charged with formulating and executing foreign policies for the Kingdom of Thailand. The ministry manages and maintains Thai diplomatic missions around the globe.
- Kromma Tha and Phra Khlang redirect here
Prior to the creation of the ministry, much of the country's foreign relations were handled 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 called "Kromma Tha" (Thai: กรมท่า, "Port Department") was created to deal with foreigners.
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 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 next 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 seven divisions:
- Senabodi Division (Ministerial Division)
- Under-Secretary Division
- Translation Division
- Reception Division
- Accounts Division
- Filing Division
- Diplomatic Division
- Consular Division
Foreign affairs advisers
- Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, an international legal scholar, served as Adviser-General from 1892 to 1902.
- Edward Strobel, a Harvard Law School Bemis Professor of International Law, served as American Adviser-General from 1906 until his death in 1908. He was followed by Harvard Law Professors Jens Westengard, Francis B. Sayre and Eldon James.
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.
See more at: Foreign relations of Thailand
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 former premises of the Office of the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
- Office of the Minister
- Office of the Permanent Secretary
- 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
- 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
List of ministers
- 1875–1885: Chao Phya Bhanuwongse Maha Kosathibodi
- 1885–1923: Prince Devawongse Varopakarn
- 1924–1932: Prince Traidos Prabandh
- 1932–1933: Phya Srivisaravaja
- 1933–1934: Phya Abhibanrajamaitri
- 1934–1935: Phya Phaholphonphayuhasena
- 1935–1936: Phya Srisena
- 1936–1938: Pridi Banomyong
- 1938–1939: Chao Phya Sridharmadhibes
- 1939–1941: Plaek Pibulsongkram
- 1941: Direk Jayanama
- 1941–1942: Plaek Pibulsongkram
- 1942–1943: Wichit Wichitwathakan
- 1943–1944: Direk Jayanama
- 1944–1945: Srisena Sampatisiri
- 1945–1946: Seni Pramoj
- 1946–1947: Direk Jayanama
- 1947: Thawan Thamrongnawasawat
- 1947: Arthakitti Banomyong
- 1947–1948: Phya Srivisaravaja
- 1948–1949: M. C. Priditheppong Devakul
- 1949: Plaek Pibulsongkram
- 1949–1950: Pote Sarasin
- 1950–1952: Warakan Bancha
- 1952–1959: Prince Wan Waithayakon
- 1959–1971: Thanat Khoman
- 1971–1973: Thanom Kittikachorn
- 1973–1975: Charunphan Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya
- 1975: Bhichai Rattakul
- 1975–1976: Chatichai Choonhavan
- 1976: Bhichai Rattakul
- 1976–1980: Upadit Pachariyangkun
- 1980–1990: Siddhi Savetsila
- 1990: Subin Pinkayan
- 1990–1991: Arthit Ourairat
- 1991–1992: Arsa Sarasin
- 1992: Pongpol Adireksarn
- 1992: Arsa Sarasin
- 1992–1994: Prasong Soonsiri
- 1994–1995: Thaksin Shinawatra
- 1995: Krasae Chanawongse
- 1995–1996: Kasem S. Kasemsri
- 1996: Amnuay Viravan
- 1996–1997: Prachuab Chaiyasan
- 1997–2001: Surin Pitsuwan
- 2001–2005: Surakiart Sathirathai
- 2005–2006: Kantathi Suphamongkhon
- 2006–2008: Nitya Pibulsongkram
- 2008: Noppadon Pattama
- 2008: Tej Bunnag
- 2008: Saroj Chavanaviraj
- 2008: Sompong Amornwiwat
- 2008–2011: Kasit Piromya
- 2011–2014: Surapong Tovichakchaikul
- 2014: Phongthep Thepkanjana (acting)
- 2014–2015: Thanasak Patimaprakorn
- 2015–present: Don Pramudwinai
- Foreign relations of Thailand
- Cabinet of Thailand
- List of Government Ministers of Thailand
- Government of Thailand
- Roberts, Edmund (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....)
- 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.
- 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.
- "Names of Past Foreign Ministers". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
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