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President Solís tells world leaders Costa Rica is a model of sustainable development

September 28, 2015

Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solís told world leaders gathered in New York this past weekend that his country’s sustainable development model is worthy of emulation.

Solís touted Costa Rica’s green path in a speech Sunday at the United Nations’ Post-2015 Development Agenda Summit. He urged other nations to realign their spending away from militarization and towards peace efforts and the 2030 Agenda Development Goals adopted by the U.N.

Solís said that Costa Rica is a country with sustainable development “in its DNA”:

“Today we say that it is possible and we urge the creation of other societies that are peaceful, just, and inclusive, free of fear and violence. The 2030 Agenda is clear: sustainable development is not possible without peace, nor can peace exist without sustainable development,” Solís said, according to a transcript made available by Casa Presidencial.

The president took encouragement from Pope Francis’ speech to the U.N. Friday, saying that the pontiff described Costa Rica when he spoke about caring for the planet, sustainable development and peace.

“This is a pope thinking about the Costa Rican model,” Solís said in a statement after the speech Friday.

The president highlighted Costa Rica’s decision to abolish its armed forces in 1948 and its focus on clean energy — including the 213 days so far this year that Costa Rica has been able to generate electricity using only renewable sources — and repeated the country’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2021.

The Costa Rican leader called on the seven permanent member states of the U.N. Security Council to lead by example and reduce military spending in favor of projects that would help end extreme poverty.

“There is no better formula for security in their own countries than to guarantee sustainable development for the whole world,” Solís said.

During the weekend, Solís also participated in the Beijing + 20 meeting on women’s rights and empowerment. The president called for an end to sex discrimination in all levels of society and pledged that Costa Rica would establish a quality seal to certify gender equality in businesses and institutions, among other goals.

Solís also met briefly with the Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis, the Islamic State group, and possible future investment opportunities in Costa Rica from the Middle East.

Solís addresses the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday morning for the second time in his presidency.

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