If the Cold War powers could come together to complete the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the 1960s, and if Central America’s warring parties could agree on settlements to end their conflicts in the 1980s, the same can happen today in Ukraine. In fact, there is no alternative to dialogue. Former President of Costa Rica, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Oscar Arias, is an advisory board member of the Global Security Institute, and wrote this op-ed piece for Project Syndicate:
“In my first term as president of Costa Rica in the late 1980s, the situation in Central America also was considered intractable,” says Arias. “Civil wars in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua had produced appalling bloodshed and suffering. Achieving comprehensive peace agreements among the parties seemed like a pipe dream – at least in the eyes of self-described realists. Nonetheless, we managed to bring the parties together, and it happened: the wars ended.”
Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, former President of Costa Rica, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to establish a peace treaty with Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, four neighbors torn by civil war. The product of a country that abolished its army in 1948, Dr. Arias has persistently worked for peace in the region, convinced that negotiation, not war, is the best means for achieving it.