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Dec 2, 2014

Costa Rican Ambassador says he believes in actions and not only words

Edgar Garcia Miranda

On Monday, Costa Rica celebrated its sixty-sixth anniversary of the abolition of its military. We spoke to the Costa Rican ambassador, Edgar Garcia Miranda about that milestone that has allowed his country to focus on other important sectors such as education and health. In part two of that interview,  Ambassador Miranda says that Costa Rica believes in peace and human rights…and action, not only words. So along with a group of nations, Costa Rica has proposed an Arms Trade Treaty, which is an international legal instrument to govern arms transfers and sales.

 

Edgar Garcia Miranda,  Costa Rican Ambassador to Belize (Translated)

“We, as a country without an army, continue promoting developments that guarantee the existence of peace among states and nations. We have not only spoken about this, but along with other countries, we have proposed a treaty that regulates the arms trade. The arms trade is a topic that concerns us because of its violation of human rights.  The human rights issue is an important component of our foreign policy. Therefore, this treaty that seeks to regulate the arms trade, is very important to us. In December, after more than fifty countries have ratified such an agreement, this treaty will have validity. For us this issue has important implications. Also, we are determined to abolish military forces in order to contribute to peace and international security. We are a very small country. We cannot invest in an army and sophisticated weapons. We depend, and I emphasize, on the exclusive international law. The cost to maintain an army, small or big, to purchase weapons and to be abreast of the latest sophisticated weaponry, would total the budget that we spend on education and health. That is an unwavering law that, since 1949, has enabled us to live in a state whereby there are no army bases, no war tanks and no hi tech weapons, which are found in armies of other countries. As such, the young and old, with much pride, celebrate our national festivities. They march wearing their uniforms and carrying our flag during our national day.”

 

Fifty countries have already signed on, and Costa Rica is pushing for more. Ambassador Miranda also took the opportunity to invite other countries to abolish their militaries, and to trust, like they have done, in international law to settle disputes.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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