Costa Rica

In February 2010 mfp cited the example set by Costa Rica

A 90-minute debate* devoted to conflict prevention was chaired by the Co-Chair of the APPG on Conflict Issues, Simon Hughes MP, last year.

References were made to the example of a civilised country – Costa Rica – named as the greenest and happiest country in the world [9.2.10: Column 213WH onwards]. Pragmatists note also that the Financial Times [24.1.10] reported that its population of 4.5m people has relatively high living standards.

Jeremy Corbyn noted that in Central America there have been a series of bitter conflicts, some ongoing, with denial of human rights, abuses, and enormous security and military expenditure. The exception was Costa Rica which abolished its army in 1949, systematically spending more on education and welfare than any other country in the region and seeming to be a much more stable and friendly place as a result. Simon Hughes agreed that Costa Rica is one of the few countries where such matters are written into the constitution, and added that Japan is another.

John McDonnell stated: “The best form of defence is actually securing peace and preventing conflict,” adding, “there are lessons that we can learn from President Oscar Arias, the Nobel peace prize winner who has practical and pragmatic experience of bringing about peace in his own country and promoting it on that continent.”

He concluded: “the Government would do well to listen.”

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