16 July 2007
Security Council
SC/9078

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5716th Meeting* (AM)


SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS OPERATION IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE UNTIL 15 JANUARY 2008,


UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1765 (2007)

 


Aims to Provide Support Through Elections Agreed to Under Recent Political Agreement


Determining that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire continues to pose a threat to international peace and security, the Security Council this morning decided to renew the mandate of the United Nations Operation in that country and of the French forces that support it until 15 January 2008, in order to support the organization of transparent electionswithin the time frame set out in the recently signed Ouagadougou political Agreement.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1765 (2007) and acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council endorsed the Secretary-General’s recommendations contained in his most recent progress report on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document S/2007/275), which adapt the mission’s role to the new phase of the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire, as set out in the Ouagadougou Agreement.


[That Agreement, signed on 4 March 2007 by President Laurent Gbagbo and Guillaume Soro in Ouagadougou under the facilitation of the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, sets out a series of measures to deal with the political divide.  It calls, among other steps, for creating a new transitional Government; organizing free and fair presidential elections; merging the Forces Nouvelles and the national defence and security forces through the establishment of an integrated command centre; dismantling the militias, disarming ex-combatants and enrolling them in civil services programmes; and replacing the so-called zone of confidence separating north and south with a green line to be monitored by UNOCI.]


By the terms of the text, the Council requested UNOCI, within its existing resources, to support the Agreement’s full implementation, including by supporting the integrated command centre, the restoration of State administration throughout the country, the identification and voter registration processes, the electoral process, persons affected by the conflict, efforts to create a positive political environment, protection and promotion of human rights and the country’s economic recovery process.


It also expressed its intention to review by 15 October 2007 the mandate of the United Nations Operation and the French forces that support it, as well as the mission’s troop levels, in light of the progress achieved in implementing the key steps of the peace process, requesting the Secretary-General to report on those key steps before that date.


Also according to the text, the Council decided to terminate the mandate of the High Representative for the Elections, deciding also that the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Côte d’Ivoire shall certify that all stages of the electoral process provide all the necessary guarantees for the holding of open, free, fair and transparent presidential and legislative elections in accordance with international standards.  It requested that the Secretary-General take all necessary steps so that the Special Representative has at his disposal a support cell to fulfil his task.


Encouraging the Facilitator, President Compaoré, to continue to support the process to settle the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, the Council welcomed his decision to appoint a special representative in Abidjan to follow up on the Ouagadougou Agreement, and requested UNOCI to assist him in the conduct of the facilitation, including by helping him, as appropriate and upon request, to carry out his arbitration role according to the provisions of the Ouagadougou Agreement.


The Council also supported the establishment -- as agreed by the parties at the meeting of the evaluation and monitoring committee of 11 May 2007 and the Facilitator -- of an international consultative organ to accompany the Ivorian political forces and the Facilitator in the implementation of the Ouagadougou Agreement.


Reiterating its strong condemnation of any attempt to destabilize the peace process by force, in particular the attack committed on 29 June 2007 in Bouaké against Côte d’Ivoire’s Prime Minister, Guillaume Soro, that resulted in several deaths, the Council stressed that the perpetrators of such criminal acts must be brought to justice.


The Council also called on all concerned parties to ensure that the protection of women and children was addressed in the Agreement’s implementation, as well as in the post-conflict reconstruction and recovery phases.  It invited the signatories of the Ouagadougou Agreement to take the necessary steps to protect vulnerable civilian populations, including by guaranteeing the voluntary return, reinstallation, reintegration and security of displaced persons.


The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and adjourned at 10:17 a.m.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1765 (2007) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its previous resolutions, in particular resolution 1739 (2007), and the statements of its President relating to the situation in Côte d’Ivoire,


Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Côte d’Ivoire, and recalling the importance of the principles of good-neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,


Recalling that it endorsed the Agreement signed by President Laurent Gbagbo and Mr. Guillaume Soro in Ouagadougou on 4 March 2007 (“the Ouagadougou political Agreement”, S/2007/144), and that it has supported the appointment of Mr. Guillaume Soro as Prime Minister,


Paying tribute to the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Blaise Compaoré, for his continued efforts of facilitation of the inter-Ivorian direct dialogue that enabled, in particular, the signing of the Ouagadougou political Agreement, and to other leaders of the region, commending and encouraging the continued efforts of the African Union and ECOWAS to promote peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire, and reiterating its full support for them,


Reiterating its strong condemnation of any attempt to destabilize the peace process by force, in particular the attack committed on 29 June 2007 in Bouaké against the Prime Minister of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Guillaume Soro, that resulted in several deaths, and stressing that the perpetrators of such criminal acts must be brought to justice,


Having taken note of the report of the Secretary-General dated 14 May 2007 (S/2007/275),


Reiterating its firm condemnation of all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Côte d’Ivoire,


Recalling its resolutions 1460 (2003) and 1612 (2005) on children and armed conflict and the subsequent conclusions of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict pertaining to parties in the armed conflict of Côte d’Ivoire (S/2007/93),


Recalling also its resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security,


Determining that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire continues to pose a threat to international peace and security in the region,


Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


“1.   Decides to renew the mandates of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and of the French forces which support it until 15 January 2008, in order to support the organization in Côte d’Ivoire of free, open, fair and transparent elections within the time frame set out in the Ouagadougou political Agreement, and expresses its readiness to renew them further as appropriate;


“2.   Endorses the recommendations contained in paragraphs 42 to 72 and 75 to 83 of the report of the Secretary-General dated 14 May 2007, which adapt UNOCI’s role to the new phase of the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire as set out in the Ouagadougou political Agreement, and, accordingly, requests UNOCI, within its existing resources, to support the full implementation of the Ouagadougou political Agreement, including by supporting the integrated command centre, the restoration of State administration throughout the country, the identification and voter registration processes, the electoral process, persons affected by the conflict, efforts to create a positive political environment, protection and promotion of human rights, and the economic recovery process of Côte d’Ivoire;


“3.   Calls upon all concerned parties to ensure that the protection of women and children is addressed in the implementation of the Ouagadougou political Agreement as well as the post-conflict reconstruction and recovery phases, including continued monitoring and reporting of the situation of women and children;


“4.   Also invites the signatories of the Ouagadougou political Agreement to take the necessary steps to protect vulnerable civilian populations, including by guaranteeing the voluntary return, reinstallation, reintegration and security of displaced persons, with the support of the United Nations system, and to fulfil in this regard their commitments in accordance with the Ouagadougou political Agreement and their obligations under international humanitarian law;


“5.   Expresses its intention to review by 15 October 2007 the mandates of UNOCI and the French forces which support it, as well as the level of troops of UNOCI, in the light of the progress achieved in the implementation of the key steps of the peace process, and requests the Secretary-General to provide to it a report on these key steps before this date;


“6.   Decidesto terminate the mandate of the High Representative for the Elections, decides therefore that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Côte d’Ivoire shall certify that all stages of the electoral process provide all the necessary guarantees for the holding of open, free, fair and transparent presidential and legislative elections in accordance with international standards, and requeststhe Secretary-Generalto take all the necessary steps so that the Special Representative has at his disposal a support cell providing him all the appropriate assistance to fulfil this task;


“7.   Commends the High Representative for the Elections, Mr. Gérard Stoudmann, whose tireless efforts permitted progress in the implementation of the peace process and the preparation of the elections;


“8.   Recalls the importance of the provisions of the Ouagadougou political Agreement, including paragraph 8.1, and urges the Ivorian political forces to rely on the mediation by the Facilitator, for any major difficulty concerning the electoral process;


“9.   Supports the establishment, as agreed by the parties at the meeting of the evaluation and monitoring committee of 11 May 2007 and the Facilitator, of an international consultative organ including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the resident coordinator of the United Nations system, and the representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the African Union, the African Development Bank, ECOWAS and France, to accompany the Ivorian political forces and the Facilitator in the implementation of the Ouagadougou political Agreement, and notes that this organ shall participate in the meetings of the evaluation and monitoring committee, as an observer, and may be consulted at any time by the Facilitator;


“10.  Encourages the Facilitator, President Blaise Compaoré, to continue to support the process to settle the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, welcomes his decision to appoint a special representative in Abidjan to follow up on the Ouagadougou political Agreement, and requests UNOCI to assist him in the conduct of the facilitation, including by helping him, as appropriate and upon his request, to carry out his arbitration role according to the provisions of paragraph 8.1 of the Ouagadougou political Agreement;


“11.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”


Background


When the Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in Côte d’Ivoire it had before it the Secretary-General’s thirteenth progress report on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document S/2007/275).  Based on the findings of a multidisciplinary technical assessment mission that visited Côte d’Ivoire from 10 to 22 April 2007, the report provides recommendations on the United Nations role in implementing the Agreement signed by President Laurent Gbagbo and Guillaume Soro in Ouagadougou on 4 March 2007 under the facilitation of the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso.


According to the report, the Ouagadougou Agreement sets out a series of measures to deal with the political divide.  It calls for, among other steps, creating a new transitional Government; organizing free and fair presidential elections; merging the Forces Nouvelles and the national defence and security forces through the establishment of an integrated command centre; dismantling the militias, disarming ex-combatants and enrolling them in civil services programmes; and replacing the so-called zone of confidence separating north and south with a green line to be monitored by UNOCI.


Prior to the Ouagadougou Agreement, the Ivorian parties have signed a total of five peace agreements since the outbreak of the conflict in 2002, the report adds.  Each of those agreements significantly contributed towards resolving some important aspects of the crisis.  The advent of the Ouagadougou Agreement, however, takes the Ivorian peace process to a unique turning point.  For the first time since the beginning of the crisis, the Ivorian parties have undertaken a dialogue at their own initiative, with a facilitator of their choice.  Furthermore, the parties have themselves drawn up the framework for resolving key issues that had hitherto impeded progress in the peace process.  The opposition parties, which were not directly involved in the dialogue, have confirmed that they support the Agreement and have mandated Prime Minister Soro to represent them.


Congratulating the Ivorian parties for mustering the necessary political will to assume full responsibility for resolving the crisis in their country, the Secretary-General states that ownership of the peace process imposes a unique responsibility on the Ivorian parties to implement the Ouagadougou agreement in full and in good faith.  While they have made a good beginning in this regard, as in all peace processes, unforeseen events will test their will at every critical turn.  The Secretary-General urges them to remain steadfast and keep the peace process on track.


The political will of the parties alone will not sustain the peace process, the Secretary-General adds, noting that, already, the delays in launching the dismantling of militias, the cantonment of the former fighting forces, the redeployment of State authority and the mobile court hearings, scheduled to begin on 23 April, have underscored the challenges that the capacity limitations of national institutions can present for the Agreement’s implementation.  The Ivorian authorities will need the assistance of the United Nations and other international partners to develop the capacity of the main national institutions involved in the Agreement’s implementation, especially the formed integrated command centre.


The ultimate test for the Ouagadougou Agreement lay in its ability to resolve the fundamental issues that are at the heart of the Ivorian crisis, in particular the identification of the population, the disarmament of combatants, the reunification of the country and the re-establishment of State authority throughout the country, the report continues.  Failure to address these issues could lead to the breakdown of the peace process, with dire consequences, not only for Côte d’Ivoire, but also for the subregion.


“The Ouagadougou Agreement provides an opportunity for both the Ivorian parties and their international partners to turn a new page,” the Secretary-General states.  For the parties, the Agreement could well be the last chance for a peaceful solution to the crisis.  With the prevailing ideal situation, where the parties now own and lead the peace process, the international community should adjust its role and relationship with the Ivorian parties accordingly.  In accompanying the national institutions as they implement the Agreement, the international partners cannot be mere passive observers, but should provide the necessary support and advice, with a view to ensuring that the peace process is conducted in accordance with internationally accepted standards.


Based on the common view and requests conveyed to the technical assessment mission by the Ivorian authorities, the Secretary-General recommends that the United Nations adjust its role in Côte d’Ivoire to effectively support the new phase of the peace process.  Among the recommendations are support for the setting up of an integrated command centre; lifting the zone of confidence and establishing the green line; security sector reform and deployment of the new defence and security forces throughout the country; reinforcement of UNOCI deployment in the west; and implementation of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programme.


Other recommendations include support for the restoration of State administration throughout the country; the identification and voter registration process; the electoral process; the role of the High Representative for the elections; persons affected by the conflict; efforts to create a positive political environment; efforts to promote and protect human rights; and the economic recovery process.


For its part, the United Nations system is ready to provide the support requested by the Ivorian authorities, the Secretary-General states.  The capacity of UNOCI and the United Nations country team will remain to provide support to the new phase of the peace process.  In providing such support, the United Nations system will also help to reinforce the capacity of national institutions, enhance the credibility and transparency of such crucial processes as the identification of the population, disarmament and elections, and assist in preventing the process from back-sliding.


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*     The 5715th Meeting was closed.


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