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November 16, 1999



Costa Rica today ratified the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a legal document also referred to as the "Protocol of San Salvador." The Costa Rican ratification now paves the way for it to enter into force.

Hernán Castro, the Costa Rican Ambassador to the OAS, told the gathering of member state representatives, senior OAS officials and special guests at a ceremony that "the San Salvador Protocol’s hemisphere-wide entry into force is extremely important as it reaffirms the idea that development is the overall objective of individual rights."

He noted too that Tuesday’s ratification was taking place just ahead of celebrations his country was set to host on November 22 to mark the 30th anniversary of the American Convention on Human Rights and the 20th anniversary of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. "This ratification is, therefore, one more demonstration of our unyielding commitment to human rights," said Castro, who added that Costa Rican President Rodríguez Echeverría and Foreign Minister Roberto Rojas viewed the country’s foreign policy as one based on the defense, promotion and support of human rights.

Accepting the ratification documents, OAS Assistant Secretary Christopher Thomas recalled that the Protocol of San Salvador, signed in the Salvadorian capital on November 17, 1988, was now ratified by Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Ambassador Thomas pointed out that with the Protocol now set to become effective, "the inter-American system is taking a tremendous step forward and we hope it spurs other OAS member states that have not yet done so to ratify this important Protocol."