Costa Rica as ‘Model’ For Development, Peace
By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Shahiddan Saidi
BANGI, 2 April 2016 – Costa Rica, a Central American country bordered by Nicaragua and Panama, is an example of developing nation which prospered without military forces, said its Foreign Minister Manual A Gozales Sanz.
Sanz said his country gives priority on social and economic development, and used diplomacy and international arbitration to settle disputes with its neighbours.
“Without a formal military force, Costa Rica can use its financial resources for investments in other fields including the effort to develop the best possible police force to maintain internal order,” he said in his lecture for the Global Talk Series: Costa Rica Disarmed Democracy Outlook on Costa Rican Foreign Policy, organised by the National University of Malaysia (UKM), here recently.
He stressed that focusing on social and economic development enables Costa Rica to be a competitive off-shore business destination, like Malaysia, India, Philippines and Poland.
He added that Costa Rica has consistently performed favourably in the Human Development Index, placing 62nd in the world as of 2012, among the highest of any Latin American nation.
Meanwhile, Sanz said since dissolving the military in its constitution in 1949, Costa Rica has avoided armed insurrections and coups which plagued many of its neighbours in Central and South America.
In light of this, an elite border unit as an extension of the police force, was formed in 2010 to defend the nation’s frontiers.