more education and less weapons

Published on hrea.org on December 5, 2006 – Costa Rican president’s proposal to invest more in education and less in weapons gets OAS (Organization of American States) backing. Secretary General José Miguel Insulza of the Organization of American States (OAS) said today that the OAS “enthusiastically” supports an international initiative spearheaded by Costa Rican President and Nobel laureate Oscar Arias to create a hemispheric mechanism to provide debt forgiveness and international funding for developing countries that invest more in education, health and housing, and devote less to military spending … // …

In his remarks, the Costa Rican leader explained that a UN working group studying the creation of such a treaty will presents its recommendations within a year. “This is only a small victory. The road ahead for this initiative is long, and the support of OAS member countries is vital for this to become reality,” Arias said. The President also referred to the grave problem of poverty in the Americas. “Hungry people have no real power,” he said. Arias underscored the importance of a basic truth: “While prosperity and growth alone are not sufficient to uphold democratic regimes, without them maintaining our freedoms becomes a titanic effort.” Temptations to become autocratic, he added, arise more easily where hunger, ignorance and frustration provide fertile ground for messianic voices … // …

“Seeing Central America at peace today- and building a future together- we cannot but remember the effort you made during that time. Your 1987 Nobel Peace Prize was justly earned,” Insulza added. The Secretary General recalled the significant economic growth and development that Costa Rica registered during President Arias’ first term, which began in 1986, as well as his government’s effort to achieve the lowest unemployment rate in Latin America at that time. Noting that Arias has again taken the helm of his country’s government at a difficult juncture, Insulza said Arias will no doubt “continue taking the country on the road to progress, democracy, freedom and economic growth.” (Press release OEA, see on hrea.org Dec. 5, 2006).

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