|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5591st Meeting* (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS CÔTE D’IVOIRE OPERATION UNTIL 10 JANUARY 2007,
UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1726 (2006)
Seriously concerned at the persistence of the crisis and deterioration of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, including its grave humanitarian consequences and large-scale civilian suffering and displacement, the Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the French forces that support it until 10 January 2007.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1726 (2006) under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council determined that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire continued to pose a threat to international peace and security in the region and, thus, decided to remain actively seized of the matter.
Also by the resolution, the Council took note of the Secretary-General’s report of 4 December (document S/2006/939), in which he says he is convinced that the main Ivorian political leaders could rise above “narrow partisan and personal interests” and make the compromises needed to take the country out of crisis.
He recommends extending the mandate of the mission mandate for an additional year, until 15 December 2007.
The meeting began at 10:18 a.m. and adjourned at 10:23 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1726 (2006) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions 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,
“Having taken note of the report of the Secretary-General dated 4 December 2006 (S/2006/939),
“Reaffirming its support to the impartial forces, namely the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the French forces which support it,
“Expressing its serious concern at the persistence of the crisis and the deterioration of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, including its grave humanitarian consequences causing large-scale civilian suffering and displacement,
“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 that the mandate of UNOCI and of the French forces which support it shall be extended until 10 January 2007;
“2. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
The Security Council had before it the Secretary-General’s eleventh progress report on UNOCI (document S/2006/939), which covers developments since October.
The report states that, although the Ivorian parties have failed to meet the election deadline for the second time, the successful launching of the initial phases of the National Programme for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, the identification of the population and the restoration of State authority in the north provided a practical basis for meaningful progress. The experience in the operation of the mobile courts, including the consensus on the principle of conducting identification and disarmament concomitantly, as well as the lessons drawn from the pre-cantonment phase, the dismantling of militias in the west, the return of civil servants to the north and the reunification of the school examinations system, have all demonstrated the feasibility of the road map adopted by the Prime Minister.
Recent Security Council decisions provide a sound framework for carrying forward these initial, but precious, gains, in order to bring the peace process to a successful conclusion in the coming 12 months, the report adds. Resolution 1721 (2006) offers the necessary tools and safeguards that should make it possible to overcome the technical issues that have hitherto impeded progress. Most of these obstacles and the resultant series of stalemates witnessed in the past 12 months were clearly contrived.
The Secretary-General appeals to President Laurent Gbagbo, Henri Konan Bedié, Alassane Ouattara and Guillaume Soro to muster the necessary political will, seize the opportunity offered by the final extension of the transition period and work together with Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny to build on the initial positive steps they have taken on disarmament, identification and the restoration of State authority.
The framework offered by Security Council resolution 1721 (2006) must be complemented by efforts from both Ivorian and international stakeholders to nurture a security and political environment, in which trust can take root among the main Ivorian political leaders, he adds. Sustained dialogue can play a crucial role in building confidence among the leaders. The Secretary-General urges President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Banny to provide the necessary leadership in this regard, eschew confrontation and maintain a constructive working relationship. International mediators, in particular regional and other leaders, should also assist in building confidence among the Ivorian parties.
The most pressing task is to relaunch the implementation of the key outstanding tasks, the report states. Regrettably, the Ivorian parties have already lost precious time. Moreover, some of them are pursuing actions that could further polarize political discourse, exacerbate current tensions and lead to widespread violence. Considering that the current 12-month extension of the transition process is final, the situation brooks no further delay. The Secretary-General, therefore, appeals to all Ivorian parties to extend full cooperation to the Prime Minister in the implementation of the road map for the new transition.
This is particularly needed in view of the current political stalemate, which could easily lead to a deterioration of the situation and possibly develop into a long-term stand-off that would be very damaging to the resumption of the key processes, the Secretary-General adds, noting that some technical preparations for the disarmament and identification processes have continued in spite of the stalemate. The Ivorian stakeholders now need to open urgent dialogue and consultations among the Ivorian stakeholders, and that should focus on the resumption of disarmament, the hearings in the mobile courts, the dismantling of the militia and the restoration of State authority, within the framework established by Security Council resolution 1721 (2006). As there is ample room for the necessary flexibility and accommodation regarding the concerns of each party, all Ivorian stakeholders should, therefore, avoid courses of action that depart from the existing and already tested frameworks, discard the gains already made, exacerbate divisions and tensions and risk the renewal of hostilities.
The peace process cannot succeed without adequate resources, the Secretary-General states, appealing to Member States to generously contribute the funds needed to support the peace process, in order to ensure sustained implementation of the key processes once they are relaunched. The costs of the key processes are estimated at $24 million for the operation of the mobile courts, $25 million for the redeployment of State administration, $76 million for the elections, $150 million for the National Programme for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and $2.5 million for the dismantling and disarmament of the militias. In addition, the costs of the identification process and the restructuring of the defence and security forces are yet to be determined.
Mindful of the fact that the current transitional period is expected to be completed by 31 October 2007, the Secretary-General recommends that the Council authorize the renewal of the mandate of UNOCI for an additional year, until 15 December 2007. To enable UNOCI to effectively support the key tasks in the transition process, he urges the Council to approve the recommendations contained in paragraphs 21 to 34 of the present report, related to the United Nations contribution in support of the key processes.
The Secretary-General also seeks the Council’s support for an expanded presence of the civil affairs, political affairs, human rights and the rule of law components of UNOCI in the northern and western parts of the country, to support the restoration of State administration, which is expected to gather momentum during this final transition period. UNOCI’s public information component also plans to develop a robust sensitization campaign in close collaboration with relevant counterparts and in coordination with the office of the High Representative for the Elections, in its continuing efforts to combat hate media and to sensitize the population on the key processes, including the elections.
The conduct of the politically sensitive identification of the population, as well as the preparations for the elections, will require effective security from the impartial forces, the report says. For this reason, and in view of the need to adjust the overall posture of the UNOCI military component and to enhance its role in facilitating freedom of movement and protecting civilians, the Secretary-General appeals once again to the Council to approve the remaining three battalions for UNOCI, out of the four recommended in the seventh progress report (document S/2006/2). In that regard, and pursuant to Security Council resolution 1609 (2005), the Council may wish to consider taking advantage of the adjustment in the strength of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), in particular the envisaged departure of one battalion at the end of 2006, to reinforce UNOCI.
The activities of the Office of the High Representative for the Elections are expected to expand, as this final transition period is expected to yield the long-awaited elections, the report notes. Although an alternative funding mechanism has been identified, which should go a long way towards addressing some of the difficulties mentioned in a letter to the Security Council dated 16 October 2006 (S/2006/820), the funding of the Office from voluntary contributions continues to pose significant challenges. The Secretary-General, therefore, appeals to potential donors to urgently provide the resources required to sustain the critical work of the High Representative.
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* The 5590th Meeting was closed.