San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Border dispute reaches UN General Assembly

Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United Nations, Eduardo Ulibarri, denounced Nicaragua’s incursion into the Isla Calero in a formal speech to members of the U.N. General Assembly on Monday. Ulibarri said the presence of Nicaragua’s troops in the border region is a “clear violation” of Costa Rican sovereignty. 

“Due to an incomprehensible, unjustified and unacceptable act by the Nicaraguan government, [the Central American] region is taking a disastrous step backwards in our efforts to overcome our past and embrace a better future,” Ulibarri said. “The main victim of this ordeal is Costa Rica, but the consequences extend beyond the region.”

Ulibarri also recounted the steps Costa Rica has taken to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels, including the Organization of American States, the Ibero-American Summit in Argentina, and the secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar). The case now goes to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands, on Jan. 11.

“Costa Ricans have the right to live without an army,” Ulibarri said. “We decided to make that happen in 1949. No effort or arbitrary action will cause us to stray from that path. However, to maintain it, we depend on the multilateral system and international bodies that reinforce national rights.”

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