Quotes by Oscar Arias

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Peace is not a dream; it is hard work, and there is nothing naive, glamorous or simplistic about it. more...

Peace consists, very largely, in the fact of desiring it with all one's soul. more...

Peace consists, very largely, in the fact of desiring it with all one's soul. The inhabitants of my small country, Costa Rica, have realized those words by Erasmus. Mine is an unarmed people, whose children have never seen a fighter or a tank or a warship. more...

Peace is a never-ending process, the work of many decisions by many people in many countries. It is an attitude, a way of life, a way of solving problems and resolving conflicts. It cannot be forced on the smallest nation or enforced by the largest. It cannot ignore our differences or overlook our common interests. It requires us to work and live together. more...

My country is a country of teachers. It is therefore a country of peace. We discuss our successes and failures in complete freedom. Because our country is a country of teachers, we closed the army camps, and our children go about with books under their arms, not with rifles on their shoulders. We believe in dialogue, in agreement, in reaching a consensus. more...

It is essential that justice be done, and it is equally vital that justice not be confused with revenge, for the two are wholly different. more...

Justice and peace can only thrive together, never apart. more...

I cannot accept that to be realistic means to tolerate misery, violence and hate. I do not believe that the hungry man should be treated as subversive for expressing his suffering. I shall never accept that the law can be used to justify tragedy, to keep things as they are, to make us abandon our ideas of a different world. Law is the path of liberty, and must as such open the way to progress for everyone. more...

The effect of one good-hearted person is incalculable. more...

Hope is the strongest driving force for a people. Hope which brings about change, which produces new realities, is what opens man's road to freedom. more...

The existence of nuclear weapons presents a clear and present danger to life on Earth. more...

The existence of nuclear weapons presents a clear and present danger to life on Earth. Nuclear arms cannot bolster the security of any nation because they represent a threat to the security of the human race. These incredibly destructive weapons are an affront to our common humanity, and the tens of billions of dollars that are dedicated to their development and maintenance should be used instead to alleviate human need and suffering more...

Nuclear arms kill many people all at once, but other weapons kill many people, little by little, every day, everywhere in the world. more...

How ironic for peacemaking efforts to discover that hatred is stronger for many than love; that the longing to achieve power through military victories makes so many men lose their reason, forget all shame, and betray history. more...

Peace is a never ending process... It cannot ignore our differences or overlook our common interests. It requires us to work and live together. more...

The most deadly disease truly is the failure of the heart. more...

War, and the preparation for war, are the two greatest obstacles to human progress, fostering a vicious cycle of arms buildups, violence and poverty. more...

Hope is the strongest driving force for a people. Hope which brings about change, which produces new realities, is what opens man's road to freedom. Once hope has taken hold, courage must unite with wisdom. That is the only way of avoiding violence, the only way of maintaining the calm one needs to respond peacefully to offenses. more...

The more freedom we enjoy, the greater the responsibility we bear, toward others as well as ourselves. more...

We are calling on countries that supply weapons to comply with certain restrictions: not to sell weapons to human rights abusers, not to sell them to governments or groups carrying out aggression against states, not to make weapons sales that could disrupt security or development in the receiving region. These are in many ways common sense principles, but sadly, there seems to be very little common sense in the international arms trade. more...

The problem with basing weapons sales on strategic interest is that these interests tend to shift over time, while weapons are durable goods that do not evaporate as quickly as some alliances do. Once supplied, they can't be taken back. That leads to situations such as the ones we have seen in Iraq, Somalia. more...

It's clear to me that many weapons sales are very short-sighted. The U.S. and other arms-producing countries sell weapons for a variety of reasons, but most sales involve strategic interest or profit motivation, or both. more...

I have to believe in the possibility of peace, because the alternative is to accept the inevitability of continual war, and of always living in fear. It doesn't have to be that way. However, there are no simple solutions, and I am not the possessor of a magic formula for peace. All I can say is that for peace to succeed it requires perseverance, patience, humility, compromise, and commitment, from all parties. more...

The best way to perpetuate poverty is spending on arms, and poverty itself is a form of violence. The wealthy industrialized countries have been too slow to recognize this. I hope that in this new century and new millennium, the world will learn that if you want peace, you must prepare for peace, plan for peace, work for it, and comply with its dictates. Lasting peace will never be achieved with the instruments of war. more...

For ages the world has been living by the stupidity of an old Roman adage that says if you want peace, prepare for war. As if anything said in ancient times must be wise, people have used this phrase to justify some of the most unjustifiable arms build-ups, which, far from creating peace, has only become a self-fulfilling prophecy. more...

I would like to see the U.S. fighting another war, perhaps in addition to that against terror: a war on poverty, illiteracy, disease and environmental degradation. It is certainly within the power of your country to act on all of these fronts, but, unfortunately, your leaders have become obsessed with a single issue. more...

Action had to be taken in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, but I am very concerned about the current administration's rhetoric and apparent zeal to expand military action to other places. I'm afraid that terrorism is being used as an excuse, not only for possible military action in such places as Iraq, Iran, and the Philippines, but also for exorbitant increases in defense spending that have nothing to do with terrorism. more...

I am not a pacifist, however I do believe that the U.S. tends to resort to force too quickly. I am not referring only to the current administration; the same thing happened in the Balkans, and on other occasions. more...

I am constantly challenged by pessimists who insist that military solutions are the only way to go. This was true in the 1980s, and it is true today. You should know that I do not consider myself a pacifist; there are times, in my view, when military action may be necessary. more...

While the armed forces have intervened in the political affairs of every other Central American country over the past fifty years, with disastrous results, in Costa Rica we have peacefully transferred power from one administration to the next every four years. more...


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