Ciudad Colon, San Jose, 13 March 2017.  The University for Peace today welcomed Costa Rica’s ex-President, Laura Chinchilla, as well as the Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Costa Rica Mr. Jens Büntjen, who inaugurated the course ¨Boosting the Advance of Women on Peace-related Issues: Strengthening Tools for Women’s Education.¨

Ex-President Chinchilla talked about the large amounts of money currently being spent on the military in Latin America, even though there are currently no external security threats to these countries.  She also mentioned the current pandemic of violence, especially in Central America, and the devastating impact it has on young people.  “The relation between these crimes and drugs means this pandemic could also become an issue in other countries”, said Chinchilla.

However, according to Chinchilla, women’s participation is a predictor of peace in society, as studies show that “where women are more empowered, countries are less inclined to go to war”.  Costa Rica’s first woman President also mentioned that women could play a more active role in promoting stable peace through having a more active role in civil society, in law-enforcement agencies and in the Judiciary system.  Laura Chinchilla was also the first woman in Costa Rica to become Minister of Security.

This course is offered by the University for Peace together with the United Nations’ Office for Disarmament Affairs in an effort to provide tools for women to participate in decision-making processes in the international peace and security arena.  There will be 39 women from Latin America and the Caribbean participating in the 1-week training.

For more information contact: Monica Paniagua, mpaniagua@upeace.org