Oscar Arias to Give Human Rights Talk at UConn

Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias arrives at the inauguration ceremony of El Salvador's Presdient Mauricio Funes in San Salvador on June 1, 2009. Funes, the first leftist president elected in the country in 20 years, has said he wants to establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba, ending El Salvador's status as the last Latin American holdout to normalization with Havana. AFP PHOTO/ Jose CABEZAS (Photo credit should read Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Costa Rica’s former two-time President and Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias will give a public lecture at UConn on March 14. (Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Former two-time president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Oscar Arias will give a free public lecture at the University of Connecticut next week.

Arias’ lecture, titled “True Human Security,” is open to anyone interested in his efforts on behalf of global peace and human development. The public lecture will take place on Friday, March 14, at 3 p.m. at the Konover Auditorium in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center on the Storrs campus. The event will be live streamed.  Watch it here.

As President of Costa Rica from 1986 to 1990, Arias was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for drafting a peace plan that five Central American presidents signed, ushering in a new era of stability and peace in a region long torn by strife and civil war.

During a second presidency, from 2006 to 2010, Arias continued to promote peace, foster regional free trade, and work for conflict resolution in the developing world. He has received more than 70 honorary doctorates and been awarded numerous prizes, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award.

Arias will be the keynote speaker for the PeaceJam Northeast Regional Conference being hosted at UConn on March 14-15.

The PeaceJam Foundation has recruited Arias and 11 other winners of the Nobel Peace Prize to work with young people to carry out community-service projects and study nonviolent ways to stand up to injustice, both in their lives and in the world at large.

Besides Arias, other laureates working with the Colorado-based PeaceJam Foundation include Bishop Carlos Belo, the Dalai Lama, Shirin Ebadi, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Aung San Suu Kyi, Máiread Corrigan Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, José Ramos-Horta, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Betty Williams, and Jody Williams.

Last year’s keynote speaker at the annual regional PeaceJam meeting, also hosted by UConn, was Jody Williams who received the Peace Prize in 1997 for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

This will be Arias’ second appearance at UConn. In 1995, he attended the dedication of the Thomas J. Dodd Archives and Research Center at Storrs, also attended by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

For more information about PeaceJam or this public lecture please contact the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at 860-486-5186 or the Community Outreach Office at 860-486-1165.