Opening Statement by Director for "Costa Rica and International Disarmament"

Dear Vice Rector, Your Excellencies, Dear Professors, dear students, guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the jointly organized conference by the Center for Strategic Research and the International Relations Community, where we are honored to have the Ambassador-designate of Costa Rica, H.E. Gustavo Campos Fallas. His Excellency will give the conference titled “Costa Rica and International Disarmament.”

Costa Rica is a country in Central America famous with its natural beauties and coffee, which we will have the opportunity to taste at the end of the conference. Regarding international relations, it is a very significant country not only for its region but also internationally.

On December 1, 1948, Costa Rica abolished its army and has celebrated its 70th anniversary recently. Abolishment of the army has helped the country to be politically stable and more prosperous compared to its neighbors. The funds that would go otherwise to military spending were channeled to education, health and social security.

Based on its positive experience, Costa Rica has supported the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a critical step forward in disarmament. The Treaty, which is commonly known as the “Nuclear Ban Treaty,” would serve to eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in military doctrines and defense strategies. As a matter of fact, it was the Ambassador of Costa Rica, H.E. Elayne Whyte Gomez who presided the 2017 UN Conference to negotiate the Ban Treaty. She said that Costa Rica has a moral responsibility, as it has worked historically towards legal instruments for disarmament. I am also proud of having the same diploma with Ambassador Gomez: We both earned an MA in International Policy Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, which is known globally for nonproliferation education.

Today we will also hear about disarmament from Ambassador Campos, whose most recent post was in the Hague, at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, where during that time the Director General was Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü.

Ambassador Campos holds university degrees in Humanities, Law and Philosophy, and earned his MA degree in International Relations and Negotiations. He participated in several training programs in Latin America, Israel, Turkey, Japan and the Netherlands. Ambassador has served in several diplomatic capacities in Latin American and European countries, and we are very excited to listen to his talk based on both academic and professional experience.

Su Excelencia, Embajador designado de Costa Rica,

Quisiera darle la beinvenida de nuevo.

Estamos muy felices de tenerle aqui, en la Universidad Hacettepe. Muchas gracias.

Estamos impacientes por escuchar su discurso. Y, sin mas demora, quisiera invitarle al estrado. Por favor.