Former Foreign Minister Caught in Conflict of Interest

May 28, 2010

A report issued by the foreign ministry accused its former foreign minister Bruno Stagno of conflict of interest.

The report said Stagno committed a “grave error” when he used his position as foreign minister in the administration of President Oscar Arias to name himself ambassador to the United Nations. The appointment was made three days before Stagno was to leave office.

“Had he refrained from signing it,” the report read, “the situation could have been remedied.” But because he signed his own appointment, the document is not considered valid.

The report recommended that current President Laura Chinchilla take corrective action by nullifying Stagno’s appointment. At that point, she then could decide to reappoint him or find a replacement.

This would be Stagno’s second time serving as ambassador to the U.N. He held the position from 2002 to 2005.

Also under question is Stagno’s decision to name former U.N. ambassador Jorge Urbina as ambassador to The Netherlands. According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, all diplomatic appointments must be approved by the coutry to which the ambassador is posted, which never happened in Urbina’s case.

In order to protect the appointment, the current administration is viewing Urbina’s appointment as that of ambassador to multilateral organisms within The Netherlands, in which case, Urbina does not need approval.

“When ambassadors are appointed to governments, it requires the corresponding blessing,” current Foreign Minister René Castro explained. “Yet when a country appoints a permanent representative to a multilateral organism, it does not necessitate said requirement.”

Castro had asked his ministry to conduct a study after being questioned by local newspapers. While he told the daily La Nación that Stagno’s move to appoint himself was ‘inelegant,’ he also said it was not illegal.

Castro said if the report detected any error “it would be corrected in order to ensure best practices and to meet the tenor of the law.”

–Chrissie Long

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

HolaLola: Capturing Costa Rica’s essence in art
Pic of the Day
139 views
Pic of the Day
139 views

HolaLola: Capturing Costa Rica’s essence in art

Alissa Grosskopf - October 23, 2018

You have probably seen Priscilla Aguirre's art at HolaLola before. It captures the beauty of Costa Rica's nature and culture…

Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico
Soccer
930 views
Soccer
930 views

Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 22, 2018

TIBÁS — It’s difficult to enjoy a spectacular sunset while the concrete grandstand of a 50-year-old stadium shakes haphazardly under…

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Oct. 22, 2018
Tico Times Weekly Digest
474 views
Tico Times Weekly Digest
474 views

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Oct. 22, 2018

Alexander Villegas - October 22, 2018

It's Monday everyone. That means it's time for another dose of The Tico Times Weekly Digest. This week's Digest is…