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Costa Rica honours Sergio Vieira de Mello

Briefing notes

Costa Rica honours Sergio Vieira de Mello

16 December 2003

The government of Costa Rica has signed an Executive Decree establishing a permanent academic course in memory of Sergio Vieira de Mello, declaring it of "national interest" to Costa Rica. The course comes under the faculty of law at the University of Costa Rica and is entitled "Sergio Vieira de Mello: Protection of Persons in situations of Armed Conflict and Displacement". The Executive Decree was signed last week by the President of Costa Rica, Mr. Abel Pacheco de la Espriella.

This is the first time that such a course has been declared of national interest in Costa Rica. UNHCR supported and promoted naming the course in honour of Mr. Vieira de Mello. The University offered the course for the first time last semester. It focuses on displacement and the protection of people in armed conflict situations. Students from various disciplines can participate and prepare case studies based on actual situations of armed conflict. UNHCR and ICRC play an active role in the course, giving various presentations during the semester.

This is the third academic tribute to Sergio Vieira de Mello from universities in Latin America. Two academic chairs named for Mr. Vieira de Mello were established this fall in Brazil at the University Centre of Brasilia (UNICEUB) and the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.