San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President Calls for Human Globalization

DURING the 20th Ordinary CouncilSession of Labor Ministers of CentralAmerica and the Dominican Republic inSan José last week, President Abel Pachecocalled for globalization with a human face.“If we reduce ‘globalization’ to a simpleprocess of negotiating trade agreements,we are losing a great opportunity,”Pacheco said at the March 2 inaugurationof the conference, which ended the nextday. He urged labor ministers to be part ofa process of creating not only shared markets,but also shared labor standards andother social advances.“The efforts we must make, above allthe region’s poorest countries, are to perfectand widen the contents of the free-tradeagreements, which should go hand in handwith our internal efforts – both national andregional – to make our countries more competitive,just and inclusive,” he added.Pacheco advocated education to makethe region’s workers more competitiveand difficult to exploit; fiscal policies thatpermit adequate investment in socialspending; and fair product prices thatallow companies to meet stricter environmentaland workers’ rights standards.“Globalization must be human or itwill be, as previous experiences haveshown, the breeding ground of greaterinternal and international tensions and ofthe widening of social, economic andhuman breaches in the world,” he said.

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