San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica, Arias Receive Pacifism Award

An international spiritual organization granted Costa Rica and President Oscar Arias the Shining World Leadership Award this week in honor of the pacifist record of both the country and its head of state.

The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association praised the government’s 1948 decision to abolish its army, as well as Arias’ more recent disarmament initiatives including the Costa Rica Consensus and the Arms Trade Treaty, now under consideration in the United Nations.

The spiritual association, led by Vietnamese-born leader Ching Hai, is an international group that seeks to promote peace, solidarity and charity, according to a statement from Casa Presidencial, where a marble plaque to commemorate the award was unveiled Tuesday. Canada, Slovenia, Japan, the United States, Belgium and India also received awards from the association this year in the areas of spiritual and social growth, as well as animal, environmental and human rights.


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