Stances in U.N. Separate Costa Rica, United States

November 11, 2005

WHEN it comes to human rightsissues debated by the United Nations,Costa Rica and the United States see eyeto eye less than half the time, La Naciónreported.The recently released State of theNation report (TT, Oct. 28) reveals CostaRica and the United States coincided ononly 21 of 74 votes issued by both countriesduring 2003-2004 in the UnitedNations Human Rights Commission,headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.Foreign Trade Minister ManuelGonzález, who was Costa Rica’s ambassadorto the United Nations during part ofthat period, told the daily that differencesbetween the two countries included opinionsregarding a resolution to approve anOptional Protocol to the ConventionAgainst Torture.“The United States and Japan madeour lives impossible (for supporting theprotocol), but in the end we were able topass it and approve it in the GeneralAssembly with 104 votes, 37 abstentionsand eight opposed countries, among themthe United States. That was before thecases in Iraq (the abuse of Iraqis in theAbu Ghraib jail),” González said.Another Costa Rican priority has beenthat the 191 U.N. member nations acceptthe jurisdiction of the International Courtof Justice – an unthinkable proposal incurrent U.S. politics, the daily reported.During the two-year period, theUnited States and Costa Rica coincided incondemning Cuba and supporting the warin Iraq. Costa Rica retracted the latterposition when it requested to be officiallyremoved from the list of the “Coalition ofthe Willing” – the countries supportingthe United States – in September 2004(TT, Nov. 5, 2004)

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