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The most important "first aim" of the First Hague Peace Conference of 1899 was to reach an agreement among member states on mediation and voluntary arbitration as the means to settle international disputes and to prevent political conflict. Arbitration to settle international disputes had long been practiced and had thus had been included in many bilateral treaties. The Hague Peace Conference was obviously the" first" truly international conference called to discuss the order of world politics that the Siamese government was ever invited to and at which the country of Siam was represented by an official delegation. Siam's choice of delegation was no question to include Phya Suriya and Phya Visuddh as, the first and second delegates, respectively. Mr.Ch. Corragioni D' Orelli (Counselor of the Siamese Legation in Paris) "third delegate", Mr. J.A.N. Patijn, attache of the delegation. The total number of delegates, however, did make the Siamese delegation larger than others. While Russia (8 delegates), the Netherlands, Austria-Hungary, U.S.A. and France (6 each), Great Britain, Sweden and Norway, Portugal, Japan, Italy and Germany (5 each) had larger delegations, Turkey, Spain and Serbia had 4 each, an equal in number to that of Siam. For example, others with less were China, only 3 and Persia, 2.n number to that of Siam, The Others had less, China, for example, had only 3 and Persia 2.

When the United Nations' founding members drew up the UN Charter sixty years ago, they did so in a world where international affairs were the preserve of the nation states, where war between them was the principal threat. Today, the international stage is both more crowded and more complex. There are nearly four times as many UN members.

Today, our borders are more than ever open to trade, to information, to people. But they are also less than ever barriers to drugs, disease, terrorism and environmental degradation.

In today's world, our opportunities, and our challenges, are increasingly global. They demand global solutions. If new challenges make the UN more important, it is essential that the UN evolves to meet them.

Never before, during the six decades since its founding, has the UN come under more pressure from within its own ranks, faced more charges of mismanagement and corruption, along with allegations of bad judgment; too slow to act against genocide and starvation in Africa, not firm enough with the United States over its invasion of Iraq, a seriously flawed Oil for Food program - the list goes on.

World leaders have, in this the 60th anniversary year of the UN, cast doubt as to its ability to fulfill the role for which it was set up.

Speaking to the General Assembly at the World UN Summit last month, Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, warned that the UN must come of age; must become the visible and credible expression of the globalization of politics.
Mr. Blair said the challenge was clear; the values clear; the self-interest in upholding them together was also clear. "What must now be clear," he said. "Is that the UN can be the instrument of achieving the global will of the people."

He warned that the UN must give leadership on terrorism, must strengthen its policy against nonproliferation, and that the new Human Rights Council must earn the world's respect not its contempt.

Harsh words echoed within 24 hours by US President George W. Bush , in an address to the High-Level Plenary Meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York. In addition to pressing for management reforms at the world body, Mr. Bush renewed his criticism of putting countries with questionable human rights records on its rights watchdog commission. " When this great institution's member states choose notorious abusers of human rights to sit on the UN Human Rights Commission," he warned, "they discredit a noble effort and undermine the credibility of the whole organization." The US leader then focused on his priorities of spreading democracy and elimination of barriers to free trade, as well as using military force to defeat terrorism and to transform the troubled Middle East.

Speaking at the General Assembly a few days later, Thailand's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Kantathi Suphamongkhon, spoke of his country's pride in its UN membership of almost 60 years. He pointed out that sixty years ago, the desire to achieve unity in diversity with shared responsibility led to the creation of the United Nations. Now at sixty, the UN is living in a world very different from the one back in 1945. Today, challenges to human security and economic development can be just as dangerous to the international community as the traditional challenges in the form of military conflict.

Thailand has enjoyed a long and distinguished role in the United Nations and, since gaining membership in 1946, has served on many high-profile bodies within the UN, such as UNESCO and UNICEF. Thailand also plays host to many regional offices of the UN's specialized agencies. Bangkok has long been the headquarters of the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific - ESCAP. As Dr. Kantathi concluded in his New York address, "We have so much on our agenda. The road ahead will not be an easy one. We must work together to ensure that we can build strength from diversity with a strong sense of shared responsibility. Let us make the United Nations truly serve the people, no matter who they are and no matter where they are. Let us ensure that, we the peoples of the United Nations can truly live our lives in freedom, as was envisioned by our founding forefathers sixty years ago."

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