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OAS Secretary General to Travel to Costa Rica and Nicaragua to Facilitate Dialogue

  November 4, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, will travel to Costa Rica and Nicaragua to promote dialogue in the search of a solution to the border conflict between the two countries, according to a mandate issued today by the Permanent Council of the hemispheric organization.

As a result of negotiations begun yesterday at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, representatives of the two countries agreed on “opening a space for the Secretary General to develop initiatives towards overcoming this situation,” in the words of the Chair of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of El Salvador, Joaquín Maza.

“The governments of Costa Rica and Nicaragua have invited the Secretary General to visit their respective countries. The Secretary General has accepted both invites and will travel immediately accompanied by staff from the OAS General Secretariat,” Ambassador Maza added after the reopening the Special Session of the Permanent Council that had been postponed Wednesday.

All missions to the OAS accepted the agreement between Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans, and they also agreed to maintain the Session officially open until Tuesday, November 9, when it is expected that the Secretary General will report back to the Permanent Council on the results of his visit to both countries.

The Secretary General said that he will travel tomorrow to San José and then proceed to Managua, and will meet in both capitals with the countries’ respective Presidents, Laura Chinchilla and Daniel Ortega.

“We are concerned about finding paths of communication to be able to seek a peaceful solution between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. What we are going there to do is to facilitate this dialogue and see what method they choose to solve the conflict and what can be done to avoid frictions while the issue is being decided,” he said.

The head of the hemispheric organization stressed that “the OAS will not take part in the border conflict, because that is an issue between the two countries and they will decide who to submit it to. We are going to facilitate dialogue.”

The representatives from Costa Rica and Nicaragua expressed satisfaction with the agreement, and said they hoped it will bear fruit. They also expressed their gratitude to the OAS and its Permanent Council for their collaboration.

The Foreign Minister of Costa Rica, René Castro, said that “we came with faith because of history, and we leave with hope, with gratitude to all Ambassadors in attendance for their professionalism, their willingness to converse and their interest in allowing future generations to feel that multilateralism offers a civilized life for those who have chosen to believe in it.”

“I hope that next Tuesday we will have a permanent path, and that this Council will have proven that there is a future and there is hope in the long-term,” Minister Castro added.

The Permanent Representative of Nicaragua to the OAS, Denis Moncada, reiterated the “readiness of the Government of Nicaragua to retake the bilateral dialogue with Costa Rica”, and thanked “the OAS and the Secretary General for the initiative, which is the result of analysis and proposals from several missions at the Permanent Council who asked the Secretary General of this Organization to facilitate a rapprochement and dialogue between the leaders of both our countries.”

The representatives of Panama, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Canada, Uruguay, Guyana (on behalf of CARICOM) and Paraguay also took the floor.

The Special Session of the Permanent Council was convened at the request of Costa Rica to consider the situation involving the Republic of Nicaragua in the border zone of the San Juan River. The meeting started Wednesday, continued today, and is expected to reopen on Tuesday, November 9.

A photo gallery of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-416/10