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President Solís to support reforms, female leadership at United Nations

September 25, 2015

Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solís travels to New York Friday to address the United Nations General Assembly before meeting with U.S. lawmakers in the District of Columbia. Solís and the Costa Rican delegation will meet with business and international leaders while stressing a message of combating extreme poverty and inequality, according to a statement from Casa Presidencial.

President Solís’ remarks to the General Assembly Wednesday morning will address human rights issues and proposed reforms to the United Nations.

Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González told reporters Tuesday that the president’s remarks would focus on making the election of the U.N. secretary-general more transparent. González said that Costa Rica would propose making the secretary-general post a seven-year appointment without re-election. Currently the secretary-general serves for a five-year term with re-election. The minister said that the reform would make the position more independent from international pressure.

González added that Costa Rica was of the mind that the U.N. was ready for the leadership of a woman. The proposed reforms would ask member states to nominate qualified female candidates for the post. A woman has never been elected U.N. secretary-general.

President Solís and other members of the delegation will also participate in the debate over the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals and the Beijing + 20 Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

Foreign Minister Manuel González told reporters Tuesday that one of the Costa Rican delegation’s goals for the visit is to strengthen relations with African and Middle Eastern nations. González said that Costa Rica does not have a diplomatic mission anywhere on the African continent. Solís is scheduled to meet with President Macky Sall of Senegal and leaders from the Arab League.

Solís does not plan to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama. The two leaders met for a brief meeting during the Summit of the Americas in April and saw each other at a reception hosted by Obama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York during the September 2014 U.N. General Assembly.

After the General Assembly, Solís travels to the District of Columbia, where he is scheduled to meet with members of both the House Committee on Foreign Relations and the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as participate in bilateral meetings with Senate Democrats and Republicans. Besides government appointments, the president will also visit Georgetown University and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation to discuss climate change.

Solís returns to Costa Rica on Oct. 2.

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