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Cablegate: Costa Rica to Vote with Usg On Key Third Committee

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0883 3181347
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131347Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0258
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 4328
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 4144
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0807

C O N F I D E N T I A L SAN JOSE 000883

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA, WHA/CEN, IO, IO/UNP, DRL AND DRL/MLGA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/12/2018
TAGS: CS IR KNNP PGOV PHUM PREL UN
SUBJECT: COSTA RICA TO VOTE WITH USG ON KEY THIRD COMMITTEE
RESOLUTIONS

REF: A. A) STATE 118278
B. SAN JOSE 761 (NOTAL)

Classified By: DCM Peter Brennan per 1.4(d)

1.(C) Under direction from the Ambassador, on November 10,
DCM and Pol/C raised Ref A demarche with MFA senior staff
Antonio Alarcon and Alex Solano. Alarcon is FM Stagno's COS,
and handled Third Committee issues when he was assigned to
the Costa Rican UN mission. Alex Solano is the Deputy
Director for Foreign Policy. We expressed USG gratitude for
Costa Rica's continued opposition to no-action motions in the
Third Committee, and, noting that Iran was a particular
priority, we urged the GOCR to vote again in favor of
substantive motions on Iran, Burma, and the DPRK, as they did
in 2007. We also asked Costa Rica's help in stiffening the
support on these issues from regional neighbors Panama and
Colombia. IO's country-specific non-papers on all three
countries were very useful (but would have been even more so
in Spanish); we delivered these as part of the demarche.

2. (C) Alarcon and Solano quickly responded that Costa Rica
would continue to oppose no-action motions as a matter of
principle, and would vote in favor of substantive motions on
all three countries. The two indicated that the GOCR
expected our demarche, which followed a similar approach to
the GOCR mission in New York by USUN. Solano explained that
Japanese diplomats had recently demarched the MFA to consider
softening the GOCR's position vis-a-vis a DPRK resolution in
hopes of improving the DPRK's cooperation in the Six Party
talks. The MFA refused to change its views and link the two
initiatives. On Iran, Solano voiced Costa Rican concerns
about discrimination against religious groups, in particular
Christians, but also other groups such as Bahais. On Burma,
Solano said that the regime's human rights violations were
well-known and long-standing; of course Costa Rica would
continue to call for change there. As we reported in Ref B,
however, Solano re-iterated the GOCR's reluctance to
co-sponsor resolutions (in the Third Committee or elsewhere)
unless Costa Rica's views and specific language proposals
were given due consideration.

3. (C) Solano expected Colombia to continue to abstain in
Third Committee votes this year, to avoild inviting attacks
on its own human rights situation. He doubted the GOC could
be persuaded to change that position. Solano was slightly
more optimistic about Panama, based on deeper Costa
Rica-Panama relations opened by President Torrijos' October
visit. Neither Solano nor Alarcon explicitly promised that
the GOCR would lobby Panama on Third Committee issues,
however, (and as noted in Ref A, Panama and Costa Rica voted
with the USG position on the Iran, Burman and DPRK
resolutions in 2007, anyway).
CIANCHETTE

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