(Gawkwire) – Costa Rica’s 49th President, Laura Chinchilla, will address the opening session of ICANN’s public meeting when it convenes in San Jose on Monday, 12 March.

President Chinchilla and Costa Rica’s Minister of Science and Technology, Alejandro Cruz, have declared next week’s ICANN meeting to be of “national interest.”

“We are deeply honored to have President Chinchilla address our 43rd public meeting,” said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Her plans to improve broadband access in Costa Rica speak to her understanding of the vital role the Internet plays in all aspects of modern life.”

Last year President Chinchilla told graduate students at California’s Stanford University that Costa Rica’s plan to install an extensive broadband cabling system would more than double high speed Internet access in Costa Rica from the current 7% to 15% by 2014.

"This would make Costa Rica the second most connected country in Latin America," she said.

The President said she wants to provide laptops for students in less-developed regions of her country and to open “digital community centers" where everyone would have access to the Internet.

President Chinchilla took office in May 2010 after a landslide electoral victory. She is the first woman to be elected President in Costa Rica and was formerly a vice president under her predecessor, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Oscar Arias.

For more information on ICANN, please visit: http://www.icann.org/

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