Introduction

Thailand is a country with a diversity of races, religions, and cultures. Amidst this diversity, we are still lacking mutual understanding, which leads to conflicts, hatred, adversary, and discrimination. Thereby, the said diversity has been used as a tool to attack the opponents. Referring to these conflicts, some of the local people who have different ideals and religions, whether Buddhism, Muslim, or other religions, begin to change their respect into the suspicion and fear to one another.    

Realizing the role and responsibility for establishing peace, reconciliation, and harmony, Institute for Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University and World Religions for Peace (WRC) held a conference on 18-19 May 2010 at CS Pattani Hotel. The participants in this meeting included the social leaders who had mutual agreement to set up Religions for Peace- Interreligious Council of Thailand (RfP-IRC Thailand). The objectives thereof are to provide cooperation to any religious organizations that seek for international peace, and to support the peace process, mutual understanding, and peaceful coexistence within Thai society in a sustainable manner.

Religions for Peace-Interreligious Council of Thailand, which hereinafter will be referred to as IRC Thailand, has the following rules and regulations.  

Item 1 Vision

Apply Buddha teachings to promote the relationship among people of different races, religions, and cultures, in order to create the pleasant society and enhance the peaceful coexistence.  

Item 2 Objectives and Commitments

  1. Promote dialogues, exchange of ideas, and experiences in creating peace in Thailand.  
  2. Develop the knowledge and the skills of peace creation of the social leaders, women, youth, and general public. 
  3. Provide suggestions, advice, and support to the peace process of all levels, particularly in the three south border provinces.
  4. Collaborate, support, or ask for assistance from religious organizations and institutes, both government and private sectors, in and out of the country.  
  5. Publicize information about the peace creation, activities, and movement of IRC Thailand.

Item 3 Structure

 The structure of IRC Thailand can be illustrated in the form of diagram as below: 

4.1 IRC Thailand holds a general meeting every 4 years, and perhaps an extraordinary general meeting as appropriate.  

4.2 The general meeting of IRC Thailand includes:
                  1) Board of Directors
                  2) Council Advisors
                  3) Executive Committee
                  4) Guests invited by the Board of Directors
                  5) Observer

4.3 The responsibilities of general meeting of IRC Thailand include:

       4.3.1 Consider and set up policies and plans of IRC Thailand
       4.3.2 Elect the Board of Directors, consisting of not over 25 members:
                  1) Two Co Chairman
                  2) Two Vice Cochairman
                  3) Secretary
                  4) Two Assistant to the Secretary
                  5) Treasurer
                  6) Committee from different religions

4.3.3 Approve the list of qualified advisors who are proposed by the Board of Directors and shall be invited by the Executive Committee. 

4.3.4 The Board of Directors, the Council Advisors, and the Executive Committee are entitled to vote in the general meeting.    

4.3.5 Other power or responsibilities not clearly specified in these rules and regulations so that the Board of Directors shall do their jobs and satisfy the objectives of these rules and regulations.

4.4 Both of the cochairmen preside the general meeting while the secretary acts as a secretary of the general meeting.    

Item 5 Board of Directors

5.1 Board of Directors of IRC Thailand consists of religious leaders or experts who have interest, experience, and determination to bring about peace and set up interreligious relationship.  

5.2 The number of Board of Directors is limited to not over 25 and they come from different religions. All members are appointed in the general meeting and their office term is 4 years, with no more than two successive office terms.  

5.3 In case the general meeting is held after the date when the Board of Directors expire from office term, the said Board of Directors are required to continue their job until the date of upcoming general meeting.   

5.4 The responsibilities of the Board of Directors are as follow: 

1)Perform all operations to meet the visions, objectives, commitments of the council, and policies defined in the general meeting by IRC Thailand.
2)Recruit and propose, in the general meeting, the list of qualified candidates who shall be the new Board of Directors.
Assign, supervise, follow up, and evaluate the tasks conducted by Executive Committee in order to achieve policies and objectives of IRC Thailand. 
3) Consider and raise fund from the sources that support the peace process, while establishing the fund of IRC Thailand and dealing with problems in the council’s management.
4) Other responsibilities assigned by the general meeting.

5.5 Both of the cochairmen act as chairmen of Board of Directors while the secretary acts as a secretary of the Board of Directors.

Item 6. Advisors of IRC Thailand   

6.1 The advisors include no more than 15 qualified persons and experts from different religions.

6.2 The advisors’ office term is 4 years but it can be prolonged as appropriate.

6.3 The responsibilities of the advisors are as follow:

1) Provide advice and suggestions about the policies of IRC Thailand, and support the operation of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
2) Participate occasionally in the general meeting with the Board of Directors.

Item 7 Executive Committee

Executive Committee includes:

1) Secretary General of RfP Thailand                                           Chairman
2) Cochairmen’s Representatives (2)                                            Committee
3) Representative from Women of Faith for Peace network   Committee
4) Representative from Youth of Faith for Peace network       Committee
5) Treasurer                                                                                       Committee
6) Assistant to Secretary General (1)          Committee and Secretary   
7) Assistant to Secretary General (1)          Committee and Assistant Secretary

7.1 The responsibilities of the Executive Committee are as follows:

1) Perform all operations/projects to meet rules and regulations, objectives of IRC Thailand, and policies defined in the general meeting. 2) Present operation and budget plans for the Board of Directors’ cochairmen to approve.
3) Collaborate with religious leaders and other relevant individuals or organizations.
4) Attend the meetings and present operation report as well as financial report to the Board of Directors and to the general meeting.
5) Support the establishment of Women’s peace network and Youth’s peace network, while enabling the said networks to operate and stand on their own feet.
6) Request helpful advice from the Board of Directors when having doubts in operation.
7) Other responsibilities assigned by the Board of Directors

7.2 The secretary general is required to set up an office of secretary general and appoint the qualified officials to support the operation of the Board of Directors, including general administration, documentation, finance, and accountancy.    

Item 8 Revision of Rules and Regulations

Revision of Rules and Regulations of IRC Thailand can be conducted with at least two thirds of votes in the general meeting.   

Item 9 Termination of IRC Thailand’s operation 

The operation of IRC Thailand shall be terminated in case: 

9.2 There are at least two thirds of the votes in the general meeting to do so. Accordingly, the general meeting shall consider the transfer of assets and liabilities to any organization that has similar objectives.

9.3 In no circumstances has the council not held any general meeting for consecutive 6 years, the Executive Committee appointed by the previous general meeting shall be entitled to transfer the assets and the liabilities to any organization that has similar objectives.