San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

UN Disarmament Workshop Begins Today in Costa Rica

United Nations officials have made Costa Rica the backdrop of a disarmament workshop beginning today in San José.

With representatives from nearly every Central American country, as well as Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, the conference is expected to piggyback off of a 2004 U.N. Security Council resolution against weapons of mass destruction.

With the mission of enhancing “national capacities for the management of export-control processes at a practical level, and to improve information- and experience-sharing among participating countries,” the two-day event will touch on ways to stem nuclear, chemical and biological weapons manufacture and transportation.

Costa Rica wasn’t chosen by accident to be the event’s host country. The small Central American country was the first in the Americas to disband its army, and it is home to the United Nationmandated University for Peace in Ciudad Colón, northwest of San José. Costa Rica’s President Oscar Arias also was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in brokering peace in Central America in the 1980s.

The workshop is the fourth of its kind and is organized by the U.N. Office of Disarmament Affairs.

–Chrissie Long

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