Costa Rican chosen to head U.N. refugee body

October 10, 2008

A Costa Rican diplomat has been elected president of the Executive Committee of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNHCR).

Laura Thompson, Costa Rica´s permanent representative before the United Nations in Geneva, will be UNCHR´s second-highest official, after High Commissioner Navi Pillay, a South African judge.

Thompson is the first woman in 45 years to be elected to the post and will serve until October 2009, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

Thompson said in the statement that she will “try to create the necessary conditions” so that refugees who have suffered from armed conflict and natural disasters “will have a safe and dignified place to live” until they are reunited with their families.

Costa Rica has 13,000 refugees, more than any other Latin American country except Ecuador, and Immigration receives 130 applications for refugee status every month, according to the news wire service EFE.

Established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1950, the UNHCR coordinates international action to protect refugees worldwide. In 2007, Costa Rica joined the Executive Committee, which has 76 member states and meets annually in Geneva to review and approve UNHCR programs and budget.

Costa Rica will also assume the presidency of the U.N. Security Council during the month of November.

You may be interested

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title
Keylor Navas
57 views
Keylor Navas
57 views

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title

Katherine Stanley - May 26, 2018

Costa Rica's star goalie, Keylor Navas, continued his historic march through world football as his club team, Real Madrid, won…

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah
sports
151 views
sports
151 views

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 25, 2018

Part III in a series on adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I, about the country's association for disabled…

It’s frog orgy season
Environment and Wildlife
1255 views
Environment and Wildlife
1255 views

It’s frog orgy season

Lindsay Fendt - May 25, 2018

The rainy season is upon us. For many of us that means hiding indoors for the next few months, but for Costa…