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A ceremony of Merit, Latin America Style

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DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions.

By Roy Lie Atjam.

The Hague, 26 November 2018, Diplomatic The Hague bids farewell to Latin American Ambassadors.
Hence, Diplomat Magazine sponsored by  Diplomatic Card throw a valedictory ceremony in recognition for what these two highly esteemed sons of the Latin America region have achieved during their stint in the Netherlands.

The spotlight was on the Ambassador of Costa Rica H.E. Mr. Sergio Ugalde Godinez and the Ambassador  of Mexico, H.E. Dr Elias Azar.

The two ambassadors were each presented with a Certificate of Merit. Diplomat Magazine award a certificate of merit to parting Ambassadors as a token for the outstanding contribution made to strengthen the ties between their countries and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Furthermore, for the significant collaboration with the multilateral institutions in the Netherlands.

H.E. Ms. Maria Teresa Infante Caffi, Ambassador of Chile and H.E. Mr. Juan José Quintana, Ambassador of Colombia, lauded and express thanks for what the two Ambassadors have achieved for the Diplomatic Community in general and by extension for GRULAC.

Ambassador Ellias Aznar is an advocate of Justice, Democracy and Human rights. Ambassador Sergio Ugalde Godinez was praised for one of his qualities, finding common ground, bringing the sheeps back to the fold despite the different viewpoints. He  is a genuine bridge builder!

Ambassador Ugalde Godinez expressed this thanks to all as follow:

“I am honoured by this token of appreciation hosted by the Diplomat Magazine, who I would like to thank for having us today, at this memorable venue, and for taking up this notable initiative, that is, to bid a farewell ceremony to diplomats who are ending their tenure in the Netherlands.

I am also grateful to share the spotlight with Ambassador Edgar Elias Azar, who I am certain is more deserving of this recognition than myself.

I am particularly indebted to Ambassador María Teresa Infante for her kind and certainly unworthy remarks about me and my time in the Netherlands, but which I accept with infinitive thanks.

I presented credentials to His Majesty, King Willem Alexander, four years ago, and although I had the opportunity to be involved earlier with the Netherlands in other capacity, serving my country as its Ambassador here has been an extraordinary experience.

Costa Rica shares with the Netherlands a long history of diplomatic relations, spanning nearly 170 years, marked by shared interests and policies. Indeed, we have worked closely at the multilateral level on several important issues, including human rights, democracy, the rule of law, the fight against impunity, gender equality and climate change; we are like minded countries, and our desire for a peaceful and fairer world will continue tirelessly.


During my time, together with the Dutch Foreign Ministry, we managed to strengthen our bilateral relations even more than before. On that note, we gave a renewed push to the Treaty of San Jose on Maritime Drug Interdiction in the Caribbean Sea, and an important regional security multilateral treaty. 

My Embassy also saw an important increment in trade and investment, and during my tenure we managed to increase trade by around 50%, from some 450 million dollars to nearly 750 million dollars, expected this year. Investment is also strong, as a result of the near completion of a container terminal port being built in Costa Rica by APM Terminals, with an investment of one billion dollars, which will further the trade relations between both countries.

On the political sphere, the Netherlands also hosted my President last year, on an incredibly friendly and fruitful visit, including meetings with His Majesty and the Prime Minister.

Personally, I had gain much from my time here. I am particularly grateful to my country for having afforded me the opportunity to lead its defense in five contentious cases before the International Court of Justice, all of which, I am happy to report, ended in undisputed victories!

I had also an opportunity to actively participate at the International Criminal Court, acting in two consecutive years as its acting President, at the 2016 ASP in The Hague, and the 2017 ASP in New York, where we made history.

During my time I had the great opportunity to share experiences with audiences and students on issues concerning policies that Costa Rica cherishes, which saw me lecturing at the University of Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam and even the Hague Academy on International Law.

However, my fondest memories will have to be from the many friends I made in The Netherlands, including some who are here today.  The warmth and exceptional friendship of the Dutch people, and that of many colleagues in the diplomatic circles will be prized for years to come. 

Lastly, I like to thank my colleagues at the Embassy, past and present, without whom none of our successes would have been possible. They deserve as much or more merit!

I wish to thank again the Diplomat Magazine, specially Mayelinne De Lara, who I recognized for her leadership and extraordinary contributions to the diplomatic circles in The Netherlands, for the honour which is bestowed today to this, your humble servant.

Thank you very much!”

Ture, they will be missed. However, they have left indelible footprints.

The ceremony, although serene, concluded with a joyous Latin
American reception.

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