Nobel Peace Prize-winning ex-Costa Rican president to speak at Bridgewater
Former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize, is set to speak at Bridgewater College this month.
Arias, who served as president of Costa Rica from 1986-90 and from 2006-10 through civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador, will speak on “Peace and Justice in the 21st Century” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in Cole Hall.
Working with other regional presidents during his 1986 term, Arias drafted a peace plan that sought to end the regional crisis by linking democracy to peace. Widely recognized as the Arias Peace Plan, his initiative culminated in the signing of the “Esquipulas II Accord,” or the “Procedure to Establish a Firm and Lasting Peace in Central America,” by the five Central American presidents on Aug. 7, 1987.
For that, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987.
The money from that award was used to establish the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress. In the decades since, Arias became a leader in the decades-long effort to establish the United Nation’s Arms Trade Treaty, which entered into force in 2014.
Arias studied law and economics at the University of Costa Rica and received a doctorate in political science from the University of Essex in England. After serving as professor of political science at the University of Costa Rica, Arias was appointed Costa Rican Minister of Planning and Economic Policy. He won a seat in Congress in 1978 and was elected secretary-general of the National Liberation Party in 1981.
Arias is the subject of a 2017 documentary,
, written and directed by Dawn Gifford Engle.
He spoke previously at Bridgewater College in 1991.
Sponsored by the Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peacebuilding, the lecture is free and open to the public.