Foreign relations of Costa Rica

Costa Rica San José, Costa Rica Óscar Arias
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Costa Rica is an active member of the international community and, in 1983, claimed it was for neutrality.[1] Due to certain powerful constituencies[who?] 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 José.


Costa Rica gained election as President of the Group of 77 in the United Nations in 1995. That term ended in 1997 with the South-South Conference held in San Jose.

Costa Rica occupied a nonpermanent seat in the Security Council from 1997 to 1999 and exercised a leadership role in confronting crises in the Middle East and Africa, as well as in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is currently a member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. On Jan. 1 2008 Costa Rica started its third year term on the Security Council.

Costa Rica strongly backed efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940, which led to the restoration of the democratically elected Government of Haiti in October 1994. Costa Rica was among the first to call for a postponement of the May 22 elections in Peru when international observer missions found electoral machinery not prepared for the vote count.

Costa Rica is also a member of the International Criminal Court, without a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US-military (as covered under Article 98)

Costa Rica's Relation to Central America

In 1987, then President Óscar Arias authored a regional plan 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.

Regional political integration has not proven attractive to Costa Rica. The country debated its role in the Central American integration process under former President Calderon. Costa Rica has sought concrete economic ties with its Central American neighbors rather than the establishment of regional political institutions, and it chose not to join the Central American Parliament.

Costa Rica in the UN

Costa Rica has been an active member of the United Nations since its inception at the San Francisco Conference in 1945. Its first ambassador to the United Nations was Fernando Soto Harrison, the Secretary of Governance under President Picado.[2]

Costa Rican Christiana Figueres was nominated for post of UN Secretary General on July 2016.

Bilateral relations

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia Both countries established diplomatic relations on 8 April 1997.
 Belize 1981
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations in September 1981.[3]
  • Both countries are full members of the Organization of American States.
  • Belize has an honorary consulate in San José.
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Belmopan.
  • Canada has an embassy in San José.
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Ottawa and a consulate-general in Toronto.
  • Chile has an embassy in San José.
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Santiago.
 China 2007

Costa Rica maintained official relations with the Republic of China (commonly known as "Taiwan") instead of the People's Republic of China (commonly known as "China") until June 1, 2007, when it opened relations with China. Taiwan then broke relations on June 7.[4]

  • China has an embassy in San José.
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Beijing.
 Croatia See Costa Rica–Croatia relations

Soon after Fidel Castro declared Cuba a socialist state, Costa Rican President Mario Echandi ended diplomatic relations on 10 September 1961 with the island through Executive Decree Number 2, in compliance with sanctions placed on Cuba by the Organization of American States. In 1995, Costa Rica established a consular office in Havana. Cuba opened a consular office in Costa Rica in 2001. Forty-seven years after the initial freeze, Costa Rican President Óscar Arias Sánchez announced on 18 March 2009 that normal relations were to be re-established, saying, "If we have been able to turn the page with regimes as profoundly different to our reality as occurred with the USSR or, more recently, with the Republic of China, how would we not do it with a country that is geographically and culturally much nearer to Costa Rica?" Arias also announced that both countries would exchange ambassadors.[5] The next day, Cuba's government announced that it agreed to re-establishing relations.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Havana.
  • Cuba has an embassy in San José.
 El Salvador
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in San Salvador.
  • El Salvador has an embassy in San José.
 Finland See Costa Rica–Finland relations
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Guatemala City.
  • Guatemala has an embassy in San José.
 Guyana 17 April 1974
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Tegucigalpa.
  • Honduras has an embassy in San José.

India and Costa Rica enjoy friendly and cordial relations even though high level bilateral interactions have been minimal. Costa Rica supported India’s stand on Kashmir at the United Nations in 1993 and 1994 and was one of the very few countries that committed themselves towards voting against Pakistan’s draft resolution on Kashmir at the UNCHR in Geneva in 1994. Costa Rica shares commonality of views on all bilateral and multilateral issues except that of the UNSC expansion. Being a member of the Coffee Club, Costa Rica does not support the G-4 Resolution on the UNSC reforms since it does not allegedly promote the interests of the smaller countries.

  • India has honorary consulate in San José.[7]
  • Costa Rica maintains an embassy in New Delhi.[8]

Costa Rica recognized Israel on June 19, 1948.[9] The Embassy of Costa Rica was located in Tel Aviv until it moved to Jerusalem in 1982.[10] As of 1984, Costa Rica and El Salvador were the only two countries that recognized Israel and also maintained an embassy in Jerusalem.[11] In 2006, the Embassy of Costa Rica relocated to Tel Aviv;[12] Costa Rican President Óscar Arias said the decision was intended to "rectify a historic error".[13]

In December 2011, Rodrigo Carreras became the Costa Rican ambassador to Israel for the second time, after his posting there in the 1980s. Carreras' father, Benjamin Nunez, also served as the Costa Rican ambassador to Israel.[14]

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Tel Aviv.
  • Israel has an embassy in San José.
 Kosovo 23 September 2013

Costa Rica officially recognised the independence of the Republic of Kosovo on 17 February 2008.[15] Costa Rica and Kosovo established diplomatic relations on 23 September 2013.[16][17] Both countries enjoy excellent relationships.

 Mexico 1838 See Costa Rica–Mexico relations

Diplomatic relations between Mexico and Costa Rica began in 1838.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Mexico City.[18]
  • Mexico has an embassy in San José.[19]

There had been a dispute on Google Maps regarding a forested terrain at the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border where border troops of Nicaragua had been stationed, but the countries now have launched a military program with Costa Rica, thus re-establishing cordial relations between the neighbors.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Managua and a consulate in Chinandega.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in San José and consulates-general in Ciudad Quesada, El Limón and Sarapiquí.
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Panama City and a consulate in David.
  • Panama has an embassy in San José.
 Russia See Costa Rica–Russia relations

Holders of a Russian passport need a visa authorized by Costa Rica, or alternatively Costa Rican authorities will accept Russian nationals with a visa stamp for the European Union, Canada, USA, South Korea, or Japan valid for 90 days after arrival; with a tourist visa, Russians can stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of 90 days.[20] In order to get a tourist visa, the person needs to apply for it in the closest Costa Rican embassy to where the person is living.[citation needed] He/she must have a valid passport and either have an invitation letter or a bank statement with enough money to survive the length of the stay in Costa Rica, plus proof of onward travel (ticket to exit Costa Rica & legal ability to travel to the destination stated on the ticket). Holders of a Costa Rican passport also need a visa from Russian authorities.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in San José.
 Serbia 1952[21]
  • Both countries have established diplomatic relations in 1952.[22]
  • A number of bilateral agreements have been concluded and are in force between both countries.[23]
 South Korea 15 August 1962[24]

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Costa Rica began on 15 August 1962.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Seoul.[25]
  • South Korea has an embassy in San José.[26]
 Spain 1850 See Costa Rica–Spain relations
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Madrid.[27]
  • Spain has an embassy in San José.[28]
 United States See Costa Rica–United States relations

The United States is Costa Rica's most important trading partner. The U.S. accounts for almost half of Costa Rica's exports, imports, and tourism, and more than two-thirds of its foreign investment. The two countries share growing concerns for the environment and want to preserve Costa Rica's important tropical resources and prevent environmental degradation. In 2007, the United States reduced Costa Rica's debt in exchange for protection and conservation of Costa Rican forests through a debt for nature swap under the auspices of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. This is the largest such agreement of its kind to date.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website

 Uruguay See Costa Rica–Uruguay relations
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Montevideo.
  • Uruguay has an embassy in San José.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Soto Harrison, Fernando (1991). Que Paso en los Anos Quaranta. San Jose: Universidad Estatal a Distancia.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-30. Retrieved 2019-02-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Costa Rica switches allegiance to China from Taiwan -
  5. ^ Costa Rica re-establishes ties with Cuba Archived 2012-01-21 at the Wayback Machine CNN World, 2009-03-18.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Indian Honorary Consulate in Costa Rica
  8. ^ Costa Rica Embassy in India
  9. ^ "Israel International Relations: International Recognition of Israel". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Accessed on 23 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Costa Rican embassy returned to Jerusalem". The Sun. Baltimore, Maryland, United States. 25 May 1982. p. A4.
  11. ^ Walsh, Edward (16 June 1984). "Israel's Diplomacy Makes Central America a Market for Its Arms: Israel Repays Allies With Military Sales". The Washington Post. p. A17.
  12. ^ "Costa Rican embassy moves to Tel Aviv". Jewish News. Whippany, New Jersey, United States. 24 Aug 2006. p. 21.
  13. ^ "A capital sans embassies". Jewish Chronicle. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 31 Aug 2006. p. 6.CS1 maint: location (link)
  14. ^ "Peres: Israel has fantastic respect for Egyptian president Archived 2016-01-02 at the Wayback Machine". Costa Rica News. 2010.
  15. ^ Costa Rica se pronuncia por la independencia de Kósovo, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, 2008-02-17 (in Spanish)
  16. ^,4,1879
  17. ^
  18. ^ Embassy of Costa Rica in Mexico City (in Spanish)
  19. ^ Embassy of Mexico in San José (in Spanish)
  20. ^ Travel Information Manual, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  21. ^
  22. ^ [2]
  23. ^ [3]
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Embassy of Costa Rica in Spain
  28. ^ Embassy of Spain in Costa Rica
  29. ^ Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC (in English and Spanish)
  30. ^ "Embassy of the United States in San José (in English and Spanish)". Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2019-12-18.