The world witnessed with surprise that Costa Rica
reelected the president, Dr. Arias Sanchez, 20 years
after his first presidency in 1986. He has a high
reputation because of his life as a peace activist,
his strong faith toward democracy, liberty and equality
and his actions for peace making, which have been
highly significant beyond Central America.
Arias Sanchez has been widely supported by people
during his presidency when he emphasized peaceful
resolutions in the Central American region for
the safety of Costa Rica, the neutral country,
which does not have a regular army. He received
the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for proposing the
Arias Plan, 45 nations' committing themselves to peace,
in which he requested immediate cessation of a
civil war in the Central American region which
had led to more than 100,000 deaths during 20
years of conflicts in this area.
President Arias Sanchez is well known for nominating
the previous Korean President Kim Dae-Jung for
the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Arias Sanchez visited
Korea for the Humanity Conference held in Seoul
in 2003. This year, he became the honorary president
of the University of Brain Education.
He has built a close relationship with Korea and
has shown his affection for the Korean culture.
Particularly in 2004 he visited Korean people's
Gaecheon Festival held in Jeju Island in Korea
and showed his deep respect to Hongikingan spirit
(humanitarianism) whose philosophy is peaceful
thinking and respect for human history.