Dr Pitsuwan served as ASEAN Secretary-General betwen 2008 and 2012. Prior to this high-profile appointment he held numerous offices including the Chair of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and the Chair of the ASEAN Regional Forum from 1999-2000. In September 1999 while the ASEAN Chair, he led efforts to get Southeast Asian governments to help restore law and order and, with the support of the United Nations and the international community, brought about peace and security to East Timor.

He served on the Advisory Board of the UN Human Security Trust Fund; the Advisory Board of the International Crisis Group; was a member of the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York; an International Academic Advisor of the Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford University; and an advisor to the Leaders Project, a conference arm of the Cohen Group of former US Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen in  Washington, D.C. Between 2002 and 2004, Dr Pitsuwan was also a member of the “Wise Men Group” under the auspices of the Henri Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, advising the peace negotiations between the Acehnese Independence Movement and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia.

Furthermore, Dr. Pitsuwan served on the National Reconciliation Commission, charged with bringing peace and security back to Thailand’s deep South. He also served as MP in the National Legislative Assembly.

Dr Surin Pitsuwan became a Patron of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in 2015. He will be remembered as a humanitarian diplomat of the highest calibre, constantly working to make Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific a community built on the ideals of human protection and atrocity prevention.