French President M. François Hollande and Mr Luis Guillermo Solís, President of Costa Rica, had a meeting during the Costa Rican Head of State’s visit to France from 4 to 5 June 2015.
The two heads of state reaffirmed the shared principles and objectives which characterize the two nations. The promotion of human rights, the rule of law, democracy, peace and the peaceful resolution of conflicts unite them in a joint effort at bilateral and multilateral levels.
With a few days to go before the summit between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Brussels on 10 and 11 June, they also recalled their commitment to the relations the European Union and Latin America maintain. President Hollande congratulated Costa Rica, which, by exercising the CELAC presidency until January, helped effectively prepare the summit. This high-level meeting signals the stepping-up of the bi-regional dialogue and is an opportunity to talk about fundamental issues such as sustainable development and climate change.
The two heads of state emphasized their shared ambition to reach a legally universal, binding, lasting agreement, and their commitment to presenting ambitious national contributions with a view to the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP21) on climate change, taking place in Paris in December this year. President Hollande also welcomed Costa Rica’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021.
The two presidents talked about their joint commitment and their action in support of the universal abolition of the death penalty. They also recalled their shared goal of regulating the use of the right of veto at the United Nations Security Council in the event of mass atrocities. They also reaffirmed their commitment to the promotion worldwide of freedom of expression and its corollary, press freedom, both of which must be universally respected. France and Costa Rica will go on working in concert, particularly in the multilateral forums, to help protect these fundamental rights.
The two heads of state welcomed Costa Rica joining the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie [OIF – international Francophone organization] as an observer, at the Dakar summit in November 2014. These closer ties are based on the sharing of values upheld by the OIF and on the use of the French language, which is compulsory in the first stage of secondary schooling in Costa Rica.
President Hollande congratulated President Solís, following his participation as guest of honour in the OECD-Latin America forum, on Costa Rica’s commitment to the OECD accession process and reiterated to him France’s support.
The two leaders decided to continue their efforts to step up bilateral economic exchanges, using the EU-Central America Association Agreement as a basis. President Hollande emphasized the readiness of French companies to take part in this with a view to sustainable territorial development. Several issues of common interest were highlighted such as urban transport, water and sanitation, renewable energy, electric vehicles, tourism and security.
The two presidents welcomed the two countries’ maritime security cooperation and expressed their wish to increase cooperation between their governments and businesses on internal security.
The two presidents were very pleased about the dynamism of academic, scientific and linguistic cooperation, an area of major importance in the bilateral relationship today. The two heads of state agreed to go on increasing this cooperation with the launch of a new training programme for qualified technicians. To support increasing student mobility, France and Costa Rica also wish to restart negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement on the mutual recognition of diplomas and periods of study.
The two leaders decided to increase the use of French in Costa Rica, through the academic support mobility programme for French-language assistants at the Ministry of Public Education, French-Spanish bilingual sections in Costa Rica’s state education, an advanced French programme in secondary education and support for adult education. It is very important for the two countries to develop international certifications in French at primary and secondary level and promote the celebration of Francophony.
The two presidents welcomed the Franco-Costa Rican lycée’s contribution to Costa Rica’s education system. Looking ahead to the lycée’s 50th anniversary in 2018, President Hollande suggested to President Solís a joint effort to modernize it.
President Solís invited President Hollande to visit Costa Rica when his schedule allows him to./.