Wan Waithayakon

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Wan Waithayakon
Greater East Asia Conference in November 1943, Participants Left to right: Prime Minister of Burma Ba Maw, Prime Minister of Manchukou Zhang Jinghui, President of China (Nanjing) Wang Jingwei, Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tojo, Prince of Thailand Wan Waithayakon, President of Philippines José P. Laurel, President of Free India Subhas Chandra Bose

Wan Waithayakon (full title: His Royal Highness Prince Vanna Vaidhayakara, the Prince Naradhip Bhongseprabhan), known in the West as Wan Waithayakon (1891-1976), was a Thai diplomat. He was elected President of the Eleventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly, while serving as Thailand's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He was a grandson of King Mongkut.[1]

He is a graduate of Oxford University and the Paris Institute of Political Studies (best known as Sciences Po), and began his vocational career as a foreign service officer in 1917. He was appointed advisor to King Rama VI in 1922. In 1924, he was promoted to the rank of Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and was responsible for negotiating several important amendments to political and commercial treaties with Western powers.

He was sent to Europe again in 1926 as Minister accredited to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium. During that period, he also served as head of the Thai delegation to the League of Nations, where he was active in a number of important commissions as member, vice-president and president. Prince Wan returned to Thailand in 1930, to accept a professorial chair at the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University.

For the next 30 years, Prince Wan continued to serve his country in a number of important diplomatic missions, some of the notable milestones being negotiations with Japan in 1943 during World War II, representing Thailand at the Greater East Asia Conference, participation in the SEATO Council and the Bandung Conference, where he was elected Rapporteur, and negotiations leading to Thailand's admission to the United Nations.

In 1947, Prince Wan was appointed Ambassador to the United States and served concurrently as Ambassador to the United Nations. In 1956, he was the president of the Eleventh Session of the United Nations' General Assembly.[2] He also served as Thailand's foreign minister from 1952 to 1957 and again in 1958.[3] He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of philology criticism in Thailand.

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Rudecindo Ortega
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
Leslie Munro