LatAm outreach: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu to visit Paraguay, Costa Rica; here’s why it’s important




In the first ever high-level visit by any leader to Paraguay and Costa Rica, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu accompanied by a high-level delegation will visit these countries to advance India’s outreach to these countries in the LatAm region during weeklong visit. The visit starting from March 5-9 is expected to provide an opportunity to provide impetus to India’s bilateral relations in trade and investment, ICT, renewable energy including hydel, education, healthcare, space and people to people linkages.

Besides the meetings with President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, First Vice President, Ms. Epsy Campbell Barr as well as President of Congress Ms. Carolina Hidalgo Herrera, Naidu will address the University of Peace (UPEACE), established under the auspices of the United Nations with a specific mandate of furthering the agenda of peace.

As has been reported by Financial Express Newspaper, recognising India as a key player in global efforts for the maintenance of international peace and security, University for Peace (UPEACE), is planning to set up a Yoga chair. Also, being a leader in South-South Cooperation, the University is keen on India playing a larger role in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) ahead of a major conference this year.

Francisco Rojas Aravena, Rector of the university, had in an earlier interaction mentioned that “As part of South-South Cooperation, the UPEACE is seeking India’s involvement in working on developing Objective 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in preparation for 2019 conference at UN Headquarters in New York.”

The SDG 16 highlights that Rule of law at national and international levels, inter alia, has to be ensured by providing equal access to justice for all. And in the absence of peace, achieving sustainable development itself will become difficult.

Setting up Yoga Chair is important as education for peace can play a useful role in supporting the process for peace building. The UPEACE established as a Treaty Organisation with its own Charter in an International Agreement adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 35/55 of 5 December 1980, is the academic wing of the United Nations mandated to award Master and Doctorate degrees in fields related to peace studies.

It is headquartered in Costa Rica; it has Centres in Addis Ababa, The Hague, Vienna, and New York. The secretary general of the UN is the honorary president of the university. The studio of the University is entitled ‘The Mahatma Gandhi Studio’. In the past faculty members from Benaras Hindu University, Islamic University of Science and Technology in Srinagar, and Jamia Milia University, on International Peace Studies have been trained.

Dr. Mihir Kanade, Academic Director of the UPEACE, stated that the Indian subcontinent has been a perpetual laboratory for validating the omnipotent values of universal peace, humanism, tolerance and coexistence. The teachings of inspirational figures like Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi are extremely relevant for transformation of contemporary conflicts of all kinds around the world.

He also expressed happiness over the award of the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu by the University for Peace for his role in promoting the rule of law, democracy, and sustainable development in India.

Naidu will also deliver the keynote address at the India-Costa Rica business forum; and meet with the Indian community in Costa Rica.

The bilateral trade between the two countries $ 200 mn, in which Indian exports total $ 133 mn with auto, motorcycles and pharma figuring among top exports. Imports from Costa Rica are mainly teakwood. With a commitment to become carbon-neutral country by 2021, Costa Rica has joined the International Solar Alliance.

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