H. E. Mr. Youssouf Bakayoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs
29 September 2008
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YOUSSOUF BAKAYOKO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Côte d’Ivoire, assured full support for the Secretary-General as he sought solutions to the world’s problems, especially the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. Ivorians still recalled the Secretary-General’s historic visit on 23-24 April, and pledged their continued support to him and the United Nations operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). He also thanked the global community, especially France and the African Union, for efforts to bring “a return of peace” to his country. He reaffirmed his determination to organize free, open and transparent elections. Proof of those efforts could be seen in the start of the penultimate phase of that process on 15 September.
International efforts –- through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union -– were improving the security situation in Côte d’Ivoire, and as such, he asked the United Nations to consider lowering its security level. The Security Council’s sanctions committee should also accede to Côte d’Ivoire’s request to lift sanctions against various citizens. He also called for a partial lifting of the arms embargo, he added.
He said that while the United Nations was now, more than ever, called upon to show it could maintain peace and security, the Organization was no longer adapted to the current world. Reform was necessary, and to do that, States must clarify the goals of such change. After years of reflection on the issue, it was time to bring it to a close. There were differences on the Security Council’s composition, the right of veto, and improvement of working methods, and he reaffirmed support for the joint African position. There would be no genuine peace with intolerable differences existing among populations.
Globalization was meant to open new horizons for economic cooperation, but developing countries had not benefited, he explained, saying it was necessary to regulate trade by adopting relevant rules. He deplored the failure of recent World Trade Organization talks, which should have created conditions to help those countries. The food crisis demanded the global community act together through “courageous” measures, he said, welcoming both the creation of the High-level Task Force on the Food Crisis, and UNCTAD efforts to strengthen South-South cooperation, notably in agriculture. On the energy crisis, he said it was important that biofuels not damage agriculture; and serious thought be given to alternative sources of energy.