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OAS Secretary General Insulza Delivers Report to Foreign Ministers on Costa Rica-Nicaragua Situation

  December 7, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today delivered his report to the Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers on the border situation between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. He reported no changes over recent weeks.

Secretary General Insulza highlighted in his report to the Twenty-Sixth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs that the meeting of the Bi-National Commission between both countries, which had been scheduled for November 26-27, “did not take place”; that “there has been no progress with the demarcation talks”; that “everything seems to indicate a Nicaraguan presence still in the area, with certain evidence of a military presence” and “the felling of trees and the opening of a river channel in the area can be seen”; and that “there has been no activity” regarding the review and strengthening of cooperation mechanisms targeting drug trafficking in the area.

These four main points underscored by the OAS Secretary General’s report are based on the recommendations contained in the November 12, 2010 OAS Permanent Council resolution in which member states adopted proposals put forward by the Secretary General himself.

The Secretary General based his report on communications received from the Foreign Ministries of both countries; on communications between both Ministries; and on the report he received from an OAS delegation that visited Costa Rica in late November at the request of the Government of President Laura Chinchilla.

Secretary General Insulza further noted that on November 18, Costa Rica appeared before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to institute proceedings against Nicaragua, accusing the neighboring country of “violating its obligations set out in numerous international treaties and conventions,” and asking for “provisional measures”. The International Court of Justice has set January 11 to 13, 2011, to hear the parties.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister René Castro of Costa Rica in presenting a draft resolution to today’s Meeting of Consultation also showed a video and several photographs to support his claim and allegations of the damage caused by the Nicaraguan operations. Mr. Castro reiterated his claim of the “occupation and invasion with damage to Costa Rican territory”. He added that “Costa Rica, or any other country for that matter, cannot accept such developments.”

Costa Rica, Minister Castro went on to note, “believes its sovereignty has been violated.” Furthermore, he said, “Nicaragua has undertaken a massive operation in environmental destruction, ruining swamps and flora and fauna in the area, to cut an artificial waterway on Costa Rican territory.”

Nicaragua did not send a delegation to the foreign ministers’ meeting, which was convened at the request of the Government of Costa Rica.

The Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers was attended by 32 delegations from OAS member states. The representatives who spoke during the first plenary session called on both parties to restart dialogue and to work towards a peaceful resolution of their dispute.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-471/10