The following article was contributed by Ambassador Rodolfo Solano Quiros of Costa Rica to The Korea Post media for publication on the occasion of abolition of the Army of Costa Rica 70 years ago.—Ed.
Costa Rica abolished its army 70 years ago. During national celebrations, children and the youth, as the main protagonists carrying the Costa Rican flag, proudly parade in their school uniforms. The image of a military parade with thousands of soldiers displaying their weapons and equipment is unknown to us.
Along with the principles of freedom and democracy, the force of reason has prevailed throughout Costa Rican history. The abolition of the military is one of those exceptional steps that led Costa Rica to become a fairer more educated society, able to meet the most pressing needs of its population, focusing on human development rather than strengthening its military capabilities.
Costa Ricans have reaped the benefits of a decision which marked its development as a nation. The resources that would have otherwise been destined to the maintenance and purchase of military weapons are directed to causes that seek greater prosperity for the people.
During his visit to Costa Rica in July 2014, former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, stated that "for decades, Costa Rica has been a worldwide example in rejecting unnecessary military expenditures. Instead, the country bravely invested in health and universal education. The result has been less inequality and greater social peace. "
Costa Rica, shares with the world her determination to abolish the armed forces and does so with the conviction of contributing to universal peace and security, principles that govern our foreign policy.
Yes, 70 years ago, our parents and grandparents abolished the army, now, the present generation, led by the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, will continue to cement another milestone for our future generations, wanting, and progressing towards the abolishment of the use of fossil fuels whereby Costa Rica will become the world’s first decarbonized economy and society.