[QODLink]
ONE ON ONE
Jose Maria Figueres
The former president of Costa Rica joins the show.
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2008 13:27 GMT

Watch part two

This week on One on One, meet the savvy and exceptionally articulate former president of Costa Rica.

Despite tough shoes to step into, he proved himself to be one of Costa Rica's most able political figures. As the youngest president of a Central American nation, he implemented changes that made him a respected, though frequently controversial, character.

His more recent efforts to promote sustainable development at a global level has made him something of an ambassador for the planet.

His father, Don Jose Figueres - or "Don Pepe" - dominated the country's political landscape as a president three times, and famously, the general who abolished the army.

His mother, beyond being first lady, was a respected politician and diplomat in her own right, as a congresswoman and ambassador.

Watching his parents usher in a more democratic era, the young Jose Maria shaped his own political mind.

He honed his skills at the prestigious American military academy, West Point, and later at Harvard University. By the age of 26 Figueres was running and restructuring the company his father created in 1928.

In 1988, President Oscar Arias, the Nobel Peace Laureate, asked Figueres to head up the national railway system, soon after which he became minister of foreign trade and then minister of agriculture.

His presidency from 1994 to 1998 saw some tough decisions to keep the country on track.

Out of for office more than a decade, now, Jose Maria Figueres concentrates on issues of sustainable development - travelling the world to bring together like minds and much-needed resources.

This episode of One on One airs from Friday, December 12 at the following times GMT:
Friday: 1030; Saturday: 0330, 1430, 2330; Sunday: 0730; Monday: 0030

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.