Oscar Arias's Headshot

Oscar Arias

- Panelist Blurb

Former President of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Laureate, Oscar Arias holds international stature as a spokesperson for the Third World. Championing such issues as human development, democracy and demilitarization, he has traveled the globe spreading a message of peace.

In 1987, President Arias drafted a peace plan to end the regional crisis in Central America. His initiative culminated in the signing of the Esquipulas II Accords or the Procedure to Establish a Firm and Lasting Peace in Central America by all the Central American presidents on August 7, 1987. In that same year he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize. He used the monetary award from the prize to establish the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress. He has continued to be "a man of the people," promoting such innovative ideas as human security, global governance and human development.Dr. Arias studied Law and Economics at the University of Costa Rica. In 1974, he received a doctoral degree in Political Science at the University of Essex, England. He was appointed Costa Rican Minister of Planning and Economic Policy before, in 1986, he was elected President of Costa Rica.

Dr. Arias has received honorary doctorates from universities such as Harvard, Franklin and Marshall, and Southern Connecticut; from colleges like Dartmouth, Quinnipiac, Princeton and Oberlin. He has also received numerous prizes, among them the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Award and the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award.

NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum playbill for "A Nobel Evening" from March 20, 2003.