President Solis' three-pillar plan for Costa Rica

Video transcript of a conversation between World Review expert Dr Joseph S. Tulchin and Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera, President of Costa Rica, on the President's first year in office.

Dr Tulchin:

Mr President lets turn and talk a little bit about your work in Costa Rica. You have been president now for a little over a year. Is that correct?

President Solis:

A little less than a year. It will be a year on the 8th of May.

Dr Tulchin:

Okay. How do you see your programme, your agenda, for Costa Rica during the term of Your Presidency?

President Solis:

Well, I see it very positively as well. I have a three-pillar plan. Dealing with the growth of the economy, that's one pillar. The combat against extreme poverty, that's the second pillar. And transparency and good governance as the third pillar.

We have been elected with over 1,327,000 votes, the largest number of votes ever received by a president with a mandate of change.

It took us this first year, and a lot of effort, to begin that process which is going to last for three more years. Change is not something that you accomplish in one act. It is a process, and I have vowed to continue that.

The first year was basically devoted to pinpointing some of the malpractices and bureaucratic situations that were inhibiting the process of the decision making process.

The second year will be devoted basically to making things work and show them. Particularly this will be true in the areas of infrastructure which had been delayed in Costa Rica for over four decades and also in the fighting against poverty.

We have a number of programmes that took a year to be put in place. I am very happy with those programmes, that are significantly different from the ones we had in the past. And in that logic, I hope that the second year will make us, it will make change more obvious to the general public.

But I am very happy and I am going through and reviewing the accomplishments of the institutions. I have to deliver a speech on the state of the union on the first of May and I am very satisfied with what I see.

Dr Tulchin:

Listen, let's focus for the last question Mr President on the corruption issue. You know the newspaper headlines as well or better than I. You are surrounded Pena Nieto in Mexico, Dilma in Brazil, Bachelet in Chile, they are all being hampered or even paralysed by corruption scandals.

How is your programme going to help you clean up government, not that Costa Rica is particularly corrupt but still suffers from that Latin American problem. How are you going to deal with that?

President Solis:

Well basically through open government. We have a platform that is committed to making the government more accessible to the citizen and to transparency in everything that we do, a norm. And also adopting new practices which are all ready being put in place.

Open government is a concept that entails a significant number of changes and engagements and we have done this. And I tell you this is a significant policy of my government because we have been admitted as a candidate for the OECD in Europe and this means that we have to ensure that the way we govern represents the best practices of the world.

So going moving towards an open government, committing ourselves to publicising everything we do through the internet, placing things in the web etc is only part of this effort which also has an internal, very complicated task, which is to change the bureaucratic culture in many of our institutions.

Dr Tulchin:

Well, it sounds like a very bold and positive programme. We will do our part, you and I, by putting this video in a transparent manner on the internet so that everybody in Costa Rica can see it.

That's worldreview.info and the programme will be transparent to all of the viewers. Thank you for your time.

President Solis: Thank you so much, Dr Tulchin.

(Photo credit: dpa)