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Prince Wan Waithayakon (Thailand)

Elected President of the Eleventh session of the General Assembly

Photo of Prince Wan Waithayakon

Prince Wan Waithayakon, of Thailand, has been elected President of the Eleventh Session of the General Assembly, while serving as Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Prince Wan Waithayakon began his professional carrer as a Third Secretary at the Royal Thai Embassy in 1917. He return in 1922 to the Foreign Office in Bangkok. In 1922, Prince Wan was appointed Adviser to King Rama VI. In 1924, he was promoted to the rank of Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and was responsible for negociating several important amendments to political and commercial treaties with Western powers. He was send 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, Chulalongkom 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 negociations with Japan in 1943, participation in the SEATO Council and the Bandung Conference, where he was elected Rapporteur, and negociations 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.

Prince Wan Waithayakon was born in Bangkok in 1891. He graduated from Oxford and the "Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques" de Paris. He held many academic honours, among them several honorary degrees, including one from his alma mater, Oxford. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of philology criticism in Thailand.