Foreign relations of Costa Rica

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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an active member of the international community and, in 1983, claimed it was for neutrality. Due to certain powerful constituencies favoring its methods, it has a weight in world affairs far beyond its size. The country lobbied aggressively for the establishment of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and became the first nation to recognize the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Human Rights Court, based in San Jose.

Then-President Óscar Arias authored a regional plan in 1987 that served as the basis for the Esquipulas Peace Agreement and Arias was awarded the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Arias also promoted change in the USSR-backed Nicaraguan government of the era. Costa Rica also hosted several rounds of negotiations between the Salvadoran Government and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), aiding El Salvador's efforts to emerge from civil war and culminating in that country's 1994 free and fair elections. Costa Rica has been a strong proponent of regional arms-limitation agreements. Former President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez recently proposed the abolition of all Central American militaries and the creation of a regional counternarcotics police force in their stead.

With the establishment of democratically-elected governments in all Central American nations by the 1990s, Costa Rica turned its focus from regional conflicts to the pursuit of neoliberal policies on the isthmus. The influence of these policies, along with the US invasion of Panama, was instrumental in drawing Panama into the Central American model of neoliberalism. Costa Rica also participated in the multinational Partnership for Democracy and Development in Central America.

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