COSTA RICA
 
 

 Statement

by 

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF COSTA RICA
DR. ABEL PACHECO DE LA ESPRIELLA 

at the World Summit on Sustainable Development 

Johannesburg, South Africa 
September 2, 2002



Mr. President Mbeki 
Mr. Secretary General 
Excelencies
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Sani bonani. Ninjane

I deeply thank the hospitality of South Africa for hosting this important Summit.

I am going to talk on behalf of an specie in danger of extinction

I talk on behalf of the human specie.

If we are to continue the same path as we are, we will soon destroy the planet, but before that, we will destroy ourselves.

The North - South differences shall be overcome and be shifted to coincidences and cooperation, as we have been working in Central America.

On behalf of Costa Rica and also as acting president of the Central American Integration System countries I hereby reaffirm our commitment with sustainable humane development.

In the small Costa Rica:

. We said Yes to Rio 92
. We supported Agenda XXI
. The Rio Declaration
. The Climate Change and Biodiversity Conventions 
. The Forest Principles
. Social participation
. Solidarity and intergenerational responsibility
. The precautionary principle
. The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

We would like to propose a challenge to this Summit:

To translate economic globalization into a process of globalization of human development and internationalization of justice

Approaching globalization would have as priority contents the following:

1. Justice against corruption
2. Justice in trade and international relations
3. Justice in the relationship among human beings and nature
4. Justice in the access to technological advances, and
5. Justice in the labor relationships

The above will allow us to fight against poverty

It is not possible that the accumulation of wealth become a goal in itself on behalf of which:
 

  • The planet is been destroyed 
  • Human dignity is been denigrated 
  • Corruption is tolerated
  • Human and labor rights become symbolic

  •  

     

    Costa Rica seeks a successful insertion in the world's economy but not without global commitments as the Kyoto Protocol, which has already been ratified by our country.

Its entry into force and the fulfillment of its targets by all industrialized countries is a cornerstone for combating climate change and avoid the increase of this ecological debt.

In the trade negotiations between Costa Rica and Canada it was also included an environmental agreement that is a model at the international level.

We have developed the Tourism Sustainability Certificate and submitted to this Summit an strategic alliance from the Central American region.

We have successfully implemented the Cooperation Agreement with Benin, Bhutan and The Netherlands to implement Agenda 21 and strengthen civil society participation.

And a new step is being developed in this same direction by signing with Benin and Bhutan the strategic South - South alliance for sustainable development.

In Costa Rica 27% of the national territory are protected areas and a half of this percentage are under absolute protection.

We produce more than 95% of our electric energy from renewable sources. This reflects our commitment with clean energy and we look forward to start an initiative towards the development of hydrogen based technologies.

But with no doubt we shall advance even more if we had a more fair international scenario.

If for example:
. Environmental services were recognized by those who enjoy them
. If instead of subsidies to agricultural production of the North, the social values of the production of the South were recognized.
. If the pharmaceutical companies recognize the fair and equitable distribution of benefits of biodiversity
. If in the international markets fair prices were paid to our peasants.

We congratulate the concrete commitments oriented to avoid the loss of biodiversity and the consensus reached to develop an international regime to guarantee the fair distribution of benefits. This uncontestable achievement that we have obtained was the result of the successful performance of the group of Megadiverse like-minded countries.

Our aspiration is to bring an ethical and humanistic perspective to economic development. Later this month in Costa Rica, we will submit for the consideration of our Congress a Constitutional Chapter on Environmental Guarantees that includes the fundamental principles of the Earth Charter.

We want guarantee in our Contitution:

1. The pre-eminency of the public interest, warranted by the government, on air, water, soil, seas, biodiversity, minerals and genetic resources.
2. The obligation of applying the rules of science and technique in the use of our natural resources.
3. The regulation of the use of the environment and its resources as necessary for the human life.

Furthermore, we Costa Ricans:
 

  • We are not going to allow open gold mining
  • We are not going to promote oil exploitation in the country
  • We are not going to allow the destruction of our primary forest and the misuse of our water resources.
These efforts require international cooperation to convert environmental protection in a real value of human development.

Jointly with Colombia, Ecuador and Panama, we have created a marine corridor for conservation and sustainable development that include the islands of Galapagos, Malpelo, Coiba and Cocos.

The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor has entered into a stage of consolidation as a strategy of reduction of poverty and vulnerability in our region.

We urge the international community to join us in the safeguard of these resources.

Economic development based on the destruction of the planet is suicide.

When there is no more water, when there is not more oxygen, no life will the be possible. It is urgent that the world declares peace to nature.

God gave us intelligence For a reason: let's use it to save us.

Let's bear in mind that: "God first created the plants and the animals / Later on the man .... If animals and plants are dying, guess the guess, who is next?"

Siyabonga Kahkulu

Thank you