Letter from the President of Costa Rica

11 February 2013

Dear Sir,

It is my pleasure to inform you that today, in the undertaking of the project conducted by ICAN, I had the great honor of receiving one thousand paper cranes folded by young people from Hiroshima. This is a laudable initiative, for not only is it a symbol of the fight for nuclear disarmament by civil society, it also represents a request made by youth who are actively involved in shaping its present as well as its future.

My hope is that this will set a precedent, that it will be a wave that will generate awareness in all the young people worldwide and that will manage to involve more sectors of civil society, so that many governments will be motivated to join in this initiative and promote a peaceful culture as their priority.

The world cannot live in peace under the threat of nuclear annihilation. The responsibility falls on us, the peaceful States, to give an example and promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts as the sole method for their resolution. Costa Rica has been outstanding in this field. Ever since we abolished our army and we bet on education, we have shown the world that it is possible to live in peace.

Throughout our history, we have been consistent with this maxim, within and outside our borders. With the regional promotion of peace, the Peace Plan in Central America, our active participation in several world forums on disarmament and, more recently, with the promotion of a Nuclear Weapons Convention, we have played an active role in the promotion of world peace.

I consider this project to be consistent with our policies and our culture of peace, so we welcome the paper cranes, not only as a symbol of a wish for peace, but also as a symbol of the efforts to achieve peace. We share the dream of the young people who folded these paper cranes, which is why we pledge to continue fighting for nuclear disarmament to be a global reality.

I take this opportunity to extend my highest regards.

Laura Chinchilla Miranda

President of the Republic

View original message (Spanish)

View official translation

  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s act up! Ban nuclear weapons completely and unconditionally.”

    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon Former UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate