Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress
The Arias Foundation was founded in 1988 with the monetary proceeds of the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to President Oscar Arias Sánchez of Costa Rica for his efforts to achieve “a firm and lasting peace” in Central America. Since then, the Arias Foundation has leveraged the experience and international recognition of its founder in pursuit of its mission to promote more peaceful, just and equal societies.
Following the Esquipulas Peace Agreement of 1987, the Arias Foundation established itself as a leading actor in the reconstruction of post-war Central America. Among its noteworthy accomplishments are the demilitarization of Panama and Haiti, and diverse Women and Gender Initiatives through which the Arias Foundation helped pioneer the promotion of political participation, entrepreneurial capacities, and land rights for women in Central America.
In recent years, the Arias Foundation has sought to apply the lessons from the Central American peace process to other regions, as well as to develop community level initiatives that confront growing insecurity and violence in Costa Rica. In pursuit of these goals, the Arias Foundation has developed and executed more than 200 projects, organized numerous national and international conferences, and circulated more than 300 publications.
Going forward, the Arias Foundation wants to increase its influence and position itself as the leading organization in violence prevention, arms control and arms reduction, and reduction and transparency of military expenditure inLatin America, while setting off the concept of “peace dividends” for the world. The Foundation plans to promote a global culture of peace by positioning the concept of “peace dividends” in the minds of people, media, and leaders in the region, and through the construction of the Interactive Center for Peace, which will include three components:
- A research institute, which will investigate the “best” and “worst” practices in conflict prevention and resolution, as well as the value of peace and how it is perceived in different countries;
- The Peace Museum, which will be an interactive instrument of peace education and culture;
- The Center for Conflict Resolution, which will provide mediation services for actors engaged in a wide variety of conflicts.