Country: Costa Rica

Student: Huda al Mousa
Event: Cairo 1999

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The Costa Rican National Anthem

Costa Roca Noble
patria tu hermosa
bandera expresión de tu vida nos da
bajo el límpido azul de
tu cielo blanca y pura descansa la paz
En la lucha tenaz,
de fecunda labor que enrojece del hombre
la faz conquistaron tus hijos labriegos,
sencillos eterno prestigio,
estima y honor eterno prestigio, estima y honor

Salve oh tierra gentil
Salve oh madre de amor
Cuando alguno pretenda tu gloria
manchar verás a tu pueblo
valiente y viril la tosca
herramienta en arma trocar

Noble patria tu proacute;
digo suelo dulce abrigo y sustento
nos da bajo el liacut
empido azul de tu cielo
vivan siempre el trabajo y la paz


Noble homeland, your beautiful flag
Expresses for us your life,
Under the limpid blue of your skies,
Peace reigns, white and pure.
In the tenacious battle of fruitful toil,
That brings a glow to men's faces,
Your sons, simple farm hands,
Gained eternal renown, esteem and honour.
Hail, gentle country! Hail, loving mother!

If anyone should attempt to besmirch your glory,
You will see your people, valiant and virile,
Exchange their rustic tools for weapons.

Hail, O homeland!

Your prodigal soil
Gives us sweet sustenance and shelter.
Under the limpid blue of your sky,
May peaceful labour ever continue.

Costa Rica

Country Profile

Political Structure

Costa Rica has enjoyed one of the most democratic governments in Latin America (it is a democratic republic). The country is governed under the 1949 constitution. The president, a strong executive, serves a four-year term and may not be immediately reelected. The unicameral legislature is also elected for four years. The single-chamber Legislative Assembly has 57 deputies, also elected to four-year terms. There is universal adult suffrage, and voting is compulsory. The country is divided into seven provinces. The dominant political party, the National Liberation Party (Partido de Liberación Nacional, or PLN) came to power with the election of President Joseacute; Figueres Ferrer in 1952. The current president is called Miguel Angel.


Officially the Republic of Costa Rica, Costa Rica is located in Central America. A 1997 population estimation shows the populace to be 3,534,174, with the country being 50,700 sq km. It is bounded on the north by Nicaragua, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, on the southeast by Panama, and on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean. The capital and largest city is San Jose. In addition to the capital, other important cities are Alajuela, Heredia, Puntarenas, and Cartago.

Between Costa Rica's Caribbean and Pacific coasts are rugged highlands, about 915 to 1830 m (about 3000 to 6000 ft) above sea level. A central plateau, the Meseta Central, lies between the principal mountain ranges and contains the bulk of the population. The climate ranges from tropical along the coast to temperate in the highlands. Annual precipitation averages about 2540 mm. Since Costa Rica is a tropical country; average temperature is between 77

Natural Resources

The coastal plains are low, hot, and heavily forested. Bananas, cocoa, and sugarcane are cultivated there. In the northwest is the Nicoya peninsula, a plain where cattle and grain are raised. A massive collection of mountain ranges, with peaks over 12,000 ft high, cuts the country from northwest to southeast. Within it, under the shadow of volcanoes such as Iraz, lies the central plateau (Meseta Central), with a spring-like climate. This plateau is the heart of the country, where coffee is cultivated and most of the population and market facilities are located. Costa Rica's natural resources also include fertile agricultural soils, abundant forests, and extensive fisheries.

Cultural Factors

Costa Rica is a peaceful and relatively prosperous nation. Most of the people are of mixed Spanish and Native American descent. Spanish is the official language; Roman Catholicism is the state religion (about 95% of the people are Roman Catholics). The literacy rate is 95%. The average life expectancy at birth in Costa Rica is 76 years. The country has a national health plan and compulsory social security.


Costa Rica has no armed forces (its constitution does not allow it).


Costa Rica’s major trading partners are U.S., Germany, Italy, Guatemala, El Salvador, Netherlands, U.K., France, Japan, Mexico, and Venezuela. Costa Rica's economy is based on agriculture, which employs 26 percent of the labor force, although manufacturing is expanding. The primary exports include coffee, bananas, beef, textiles, and sugar. Although Costa Rica is an agricultural country, its industry is being developed at a moderate pace. The unit of currency is the colón (208 colónes equal U.S.$1; 1996). Unemployment rate is 5.7%.

Views on World Problems

Costa Rica is Latin America’s most democratic country and often relies on non-violent solutions. Other than having border problems with Nicaragua (which it is having peaceful talks with) it is relatively peaceful. The country's liberal political stance took hold in the second half of the 19th century and Costa Ricans began to pride themselves on their relative prosperity, cultural development, and reliance on nonviolent political solutions. Under successive moderate governments, Costa Rica became Latin America's most democratic country. Even though Costa Rica is a very small country it is able to bring peace to larger countries, making it of great importance to the Security Council.


Costa Rica cooperated with the United States during World War II and after the war joined the United Nations and other international organizations. After the war, United Fruit started new plantations on the Pacific coast; these have been worked by black laborers from Jamaica.

The Iraz volcano erupted in 1963–64 and caused serious damage to agriculture. Another volcano, Arenal, erupted in 1968 for the first time in hundreds of years, killing many. In 1973 a serious drought led to a state of emergency. Daniel Oduber Quiros was elected president in 1974, but the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) lost its majority in the legislature for the first time in 25 years. In the late 1970s the country entered a recession and found itself surrounded by increasingly unstable neighbors.

In the early 1980s the PLN returned to power. Oscar Arias Sanchez, the PLN candidate, was elected in 1986, worked to preserve his nation's neutrality, and won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his Central American peace plan. However, the economy of Costa Rica continued to worsen, and in Feb., 1990 Rafael Angel Calderón Fournier of the United Christian Socialist party was elected to the presidency by a 3% margin.

Joseacute; Maria Figueres Olsen of the National Liberation Party became president in 1994. He favored greater government intervention in the economy and other measures the IMF was unhappy about. As a result, the World Bank withheld $100 million of financing. In 1998, Miguel Angel Rodriguez of the Social Christian Unity Party became president. A border dispute with Nicaragua has threatened Costa Rica's tourism industry in the ecologically rich San Juan River area. Talks between the two nations regarding the border issue began in mid-1999.


"Costa Rica" from The Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition. ©1993. Information Please LLC. © 1999.
"Costa Rica" Encarta Online Concise. © 1997-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Policy Statements

101 The Question of the Condition and Treatment of Refugees

Costa Rica is deeply disturbed by the treatment of refugees and the violation of their rights. A refugee is considered to be "one who leaves one's native land either because of expulsion, to escape persecution, war, or famine".

Costa Rica applauds the efforts of the United Nations International Refugee Organization (UNIRO), the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), and the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR). Costa Rica feels that the rights of refugees should include the right of personal property, food and water, shelter, and the right of personal security. Refugees should not be tortured and should be treated well within the lines of these rights. Costa Rica feels that refugees would be better treated and that their conditions would improve if the countries and governments who accept these refugees are given maximum financial and material aid.

102 The Question of the Role of Regional Organizations in Settling International Conflicts

Costa Rica feels that many international conflicts can be solved by the intervention of regional organizations. For example, the Organization of American States (OAS) has successfully settled many regional conflicts such as supporting the peace process in Nicaragua, Suriname, Haiti, and Guatemala.

Costa Rica suggests that regional organizations can mediate diplomatic talks between the conflicting nations, but that any military course of action should be first discussed with the United Nations.

103 The Question of Growth and Implementation of Information Technology on Global Communication

Costa Rica deeply supports the growth and implementation of information technology on global communication. Costa Rica applauds the efforts of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Costa Rica feels that many third world countries are falling behind in communications, which could drastically affect the world’s economy. Costa Rica suggests that third world nations and the many other nations that lack the technology to keep up with global communication should be equipped with the necessary hard and software (it is basically asking for any possible funding from the UN or other organizations). Many of these countries are located in Central America and Africa.


Question of: The condition and treatment of refugees.
Submitted by: Costa Rica

Recalling resolutions 37/176, 38/88, 39/108, 42/132, 41/139, and 47/122 dealing with the treatment and assistance of refugees in various countries,

Defining a refugee as one who leaves one's native land either because of expulsion, to escape persecution, war, or famine,

Appreciating the determined efforts made by the governments that contain refugees,

Aware of the consequences of the social and economical burden placed on the governments containing refugees as a result of the influx of refugees and the subsequent impact on the national development and infrastructure of the countries,

Noting with Appreciation the concern and unremitting efforts of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Food Programme, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and benevolent organizations that have worked closely with the governments containing refuges in the relief and rehabilitation programme for refugees,

Recognizing from the recommendations contained in the report of the High Commissioner found in resolution 47/122 that there remains an urgent need for increased assistance in the provision of food, water, and medicines, the strengthening of health and of self help schemes and small-scale farming and fruit growing projects necessary for the promotion of self reliance among refugees,

Realizing the heavy burden placed on governments containing refugees and the sacrifices they make in caring for the refugees and the need for more international assistance to enable them to continue to provide assistance to the refugees,

Deeply Concerned with the treatment of refugees and the host countries inability to cope with them,

Fully Aware that this problem lies in the root of insufficient funding for refugee programs and the host countries that accept them,

1. Supports of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNCF), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAOUN), the United Nations International Refugee Organization (UNIRO), and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) in the aiding of refugees by providing food, water, shelter, and security,

2. Draws Attention to the rising number of refugees,

3. Resolves that the rights of refugees should include:
i) the right of personal property,
ii) the right of food and water,
iii) the right of shelter and sanctuary,
iv) the right of safety and security,
v) the right to basic health and education services,
vi) the right of safe passage to home countries.

4. Requests the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to continue to organize appropriate programmes of assistance to the refugees so that their basic rights are preserved.

5. Calls Upon all Member states, the organizations of the United Nations system, the specialized agencies, and the intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to support the efforts made by countries containing refugees to cope with the ever-growing needs of the refugee population.

6. Further Requests that countries containing refugees facilitate a programme of local settlement of refugees so that their right of shelter may be protected.

7. Appeals to Member States, international organizations, and voluntary agencies to render maximum material, financial and technical assistance to governments whose countries support refugees so that they are able to provide all necessary assistance to the refugees and protect their basic rights.

8. Recognizes the need for development-oriented projects that would generate work opportunities and long term livelihood for refugees, and, in this context commends the efforts of the High Commissioner and the International Labor Office (ILO) to create income-generating activities for refugees.

9. Urges the High Commissioner to continue coordination with the appropriate specialized agencies in order to consolidate and ensure the continuation of essential services to the refugees in their settlement and to make sure that their basic rights are not being breached.

10. Expresses grave concern at the serious and far reaching consequences of the massive presence of refugees in other countries on their security, stability, and development, which will, in turn, affect the treatment of refugees.

11. Resolves that the Secretary-General is to mobilize the necessary financial and material assistance for the full implementation of ongoing projects in the areas affected by the presence of refugees, to insure better treatment and protection of their basic human rights acquiring the funding from the United Nations annual budget by:
i) reporting to the Economic and Social Council and appropriating the required financial and material assistance, which should be no less than 7% of the United Nations’ total budget.

12. Further Resolves that financial assistance be provide to countries that hosting refugees. Sources of such assistance should be as follows:
i) United Nations annual budget,
ii) Donations collected from the United Nations,
iii) Direct assistance from other countries.

13. Even Further Resolves that host countries will ensure that this assistance is utilized for the sole purpose of guaranteeing refugees rights as mentioned previously.

Opening Speech

Buenas noches senioritas y caballeros. Que significa de "costa rica" es "pais hermosa."

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. In Spanish Costa Rica means rich and beautiful coast.. Unfortunately, not all that is in the world is beautiful. Costa Rica is here today to discuss a grave issue. It is a problem that has plagued mankind for generations. Refugees: Costa Rica feels that it is time that this problem is addressed appropriately. Though Costa Rica is renowned for its serenity and diplomacy, it too is plagued by the dilemma of refugees. Our neighbor, Nicaragua, has produced 19,000 refugees alone. The problem of refugees is a global one. Should refugees overwhelm one country, then the entire world economy will suffer. In order to save money for the world and to ensure better treatment of refugees, Costa Rica has ideas it will introduce during this meeting.

Costa Rica feels that with the implementation of this resolution the basic rights of refugees will be protected and that countries hosting these refugees will be further equipped to deal with them. If countries are better prepared to deal with the onslaught of refugees, then they will be better able to treat the refugees well. They will be able to provide food, shelter, personal security, and other necessary services. By providing these basic rights, the question of the condition and treatment of refugees is resolved.

Thank you