|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5945th Meeting (AM)
Security Council extends mandate of United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire
until 31 january, allowing mission to support november elections
The Security Council today decided to keep United Nations and French peacekeepers in Côte d’Ivoire through 31 January 2009 to help stage free and fair elections set for late November, emphasizing the importance of the international community’s continuing support in helping the West African country strengthen its electoral systems and processes.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1826 (2008), by which it decided to renew the mandates of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and of the French forces which support it, “in particular to support the organization in Côte d’Ivoire of free, open, fair and transparent elections”.
Also by the text, the Council expressed its intention to review by 31 January the mandates of UNOCI and its French support unit, as well as the Mission’s troop levels, in light of the progress achieved in implementing key steps of the peace and electoral processes. It requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide a report in that regard three weeks before that date, including benchmarks for a possible phased drawdown of UNOCI troop levels, “taking into consideration the electoral process and the situation on the ground, and in particular the security conditions”.
The Council went on to “strongly encourage” the defence and security forces of Côte d’Ivoire and the Forces nouvelles jointly to develop a comprehensive plan for the security of the elections, in close coordination with President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, Facilitator of the Inter-Ivorian dialogue, and with the technical and logistical support of UNOCI and the French forces.
Further by the resolution, the Council urged the Ivorian political parties to comply fully with the Code of Good Conduct for the elections, which they signed under the auspices of the Secretary-General, and the Ivorian authorities in particular to allow equitable access to the public media. The text also stressed the importance of ensuring equal protection of and respect for the human rights of every Ivorian as they related to the electoral system, and in particular of removing obstacles and challenges to women’s participation and full involvement in public life.
By other terms of the text, the Council encouraged the Ivorian parties to make further concrete progress, particularly in removing the remaining logistical obstacles impeding the identification of the population, the registration of voters, the disarmament and dismantling of militias, the cantonment and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, the unification and restructuring of defence and security forces, and the restoration of State authority throughout the country.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:15 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1826 (2008) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions, in particular resolutions 1739 (2007), 1765 (2007) and 1795 (2008), and the statements of its President relating to the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, and resolution 1777 (2007) on the situation in Liberia,
“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 the following Supplementary Agreements, as recommended by the African Union,
“Recalling that it welcomed the announcement by the Ivorian authorities of the organization on 30 November 2008 of the first round of the presidential elections (S/PRST/2008/11) and that it encouraged the Ivorian parties to redouble their efforts to meet this commitment, and the international community to bring continued support to this effect,
“Expressing again its appreciation to President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso (“the Facilitator”) for his continued efforts to support the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire, in particular through the Ouagadougou Political Agreement follow-up mechanisms, commending and encouraging the continued efforts of the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (“ECOWAS”) to promote peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire, and reiterating its full support for them,
“Stressing again the importance of the international consultative organ participating in the meetings of the evaluation and monitoring committee, as an observer, and recalling that it may be consulted at any time by the Facilitator,
“Reiterating its strong condemnation of any attempt to destabilize the peace process by force, and expressing its intention to examine without delay the situation after any such attempt, on the basis of a report by the Secretary-General,
“Having taken note of the report of the Secretary-General dated 10 July 2008 (S/2008/451),
“Noting with concern, in spite of the sustained improvement of the overall human rights situation, the persistence of cases of human rights violations against civilians, including numerous acts of sexual violence, stressing that the perpetrators must be brought to justice, and reiterating its firm condemnation of all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Côte d’Ivoire,
“Recalling its resolution 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/AC.51/2008/5),
“Recalling also its resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) on women, peace and security, and its resolution 1674 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, condemning any sexual violence and encouraging the Secretary-General to mainstream a gender perspective in the implementation of UNOCI’s mandate,
“Emphasizing the importance of the continuing support of the United Nations system and the international community for strengthening the capacity of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and of the electoral bodies to organize the electoral process,
“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, as determined in resolution 1739 (2007), until 31 January 2009, in particular to support the organization in Côte d’Ivoire of free, open, fair and transparent elections;
“2. Requests UNOCI, within its existing resources and mandate, to support the full implementation of the Ouagadougou political Agreement and its Supplementary Agreements, and in particular to contribute to bringing the security needed by the peace process and by the electoral process and to provide logistical support to the Independent Electoral Commission for the preparation and the holding of the elections;
“3. Strongly encourages the Defence and Security Force of Côte d’Ivoire and the Forces nouvelles to jointly develop a comprehensive plan for the security of the elections, in close coordination with the Facilitator, with the technical and logistical support of UNOCI which is supported by the French forces;
“4. Encourages the Ivorian parties to make further concrete progress, in particular in removing the remaining logistical obstacles that impede the identification of the population, the registration of voters, the disarmament and dismantling of militias, the cantonment and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, the unification and restructuring of defence and security forces and the restoration of State authority throughout the country;
“5. Urges the political parties to comply fully with the Code of Good Conduct for elections which they signed under the auspices of the Secretary-General, and in particular urges the Ivorian authorities to allow equitable access to public media;
“6. 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;
“7. Stresses the importance of ensuring the equal protection of and respect for human rights of every Ivorian as they relate to the electoral system, and in particular of removing obstacles and challenges to women’s participation and full involvement in public life;
“8. 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;
“9. Expresses its intention to review by 31 January 2009 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 of the progress of the electoral process, and requests the Secretary-General to provide to it a report in this regard three weeks before this date, including some benchmarks for a possible phased drawdown of the troop levels of UNOCI, taking into consideration the electoral process and the situation on the ground and in particular the security conditions;
“10. Reiterates its full support to the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Côte d’Ivoire, recalls that he 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 reaffirms its support to the five-criteria framework elaborated by the Special Representative and referred to in document S/2008/250;
“11. Recalls that the publication of the electoral list is a crucial step in the electoral process, calls upon the Independent Electoral Commission, the technical operators, the authorities of Côte d’Ivoire and the political parties to redouble their efforts in this regard and requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to certify it explicitly;
“12. Welcomes the financial assistance provided by donors to the Independent Electoral Commission, which made it possible to finance the electoral process;
“13. Calls upon the donors to increase in particular their financial support to the cantonment, disarmament and reintegration of former combatants and militia and to the redeployment of State administration throughout the country;
“14. Commends the Representative of the Secretary-General for his efforts to facilitate the reinsertion of former combatants through the launching of one thousand micro projects, and encourages donors to contribute to their financing;
“15. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance in UNOCI with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuses and to keep the Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive action including predeployment awareness training, and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;
“16. Recalls the importance of the provisions of the Ouagadougou political Agreement and of the Supplementary Agreements, including paragraph 8.1 of the Ouagadougou political Agreement and paragraphs 8 and 9 of Supplementary Agreement number 3, and urges the Ivorian political forces to rely on the mediation by the Facilitator, for any major difficulty concerning the electoral process;
“17. Commends the Facilitator for continuing to support the process to settle the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, and requests UNOCI to continue to assist him and his Special Representative in Abidjan, Mr. Boureima Badini, in the conduct of the facilitation, including by helping the Facilitator, 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 and paragraphs 8 and 9 of Supplementary Agreement number 3;
“18. Requests the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed of the situation and of the preparation of the electoral process, including the process of the establishment of the electoral list, and notably by providing to it a report in this regard no later than 15 October 2008;
“19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
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