The Security Council, in a presidential statement today, emphasized that the withdrawal of the 13‑year‑old United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) “does not mark the end of the support of the United Nations” to the West African nation.
In the statement read out by Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia), Council President for June, the 15‑nation body also welcomed Côte d’Ivoire’s notable progress, including the consolidation of peace and stability, improvements in economic prosperity and the successful holding of presidential and legislative elections in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
In addition, it requested the Secretary-General to undertake a study on UNOCI’s role in the settlement of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, expressing its intention to take its findings into account in ongoing efforts to enhance the overall effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping.
As well, the Council noted that “there is important work ahead” in tackling remaining challenges — including in the fight against impunity, the advancement of national reconciliation and social cohesion, security sector reform and other critical areas.
It also noted that the Government had indicated that the United Nations would continue to be an important partner in the next phase of Côte d’Ivoire’s development. In that regard, the Council encouraged the international community, including bilateral and multilateral donors, to assist the activities of the United Nations Country Team and to consider providing funding for its transition plan.
The meeting began at 10:29 a.m. and ended at 10:39 a.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2017/8 reads as follows:
“As the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) completes its mandate on 30 June 2017, the Security Council commends the remarkable achievements made by Côte d’Ivoire since 2004.
“The Security Council takes note of the oral report delivered by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire at the 7957th meeting of the Security Council, held on 2 June 2017, entitled “the situation in Côte d’Ivoire”, including the assessments, lessons learned and the recommendations contained therein. The Security Council expresses its intention to take them into account in the framework of its ongoing work to enhance the overall effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping.
“Recalling its resolution 2284 (2016), the Security Council welcomes the notable progress made by Côte d’Ivoire to consolidate lasting peace and stability, as well as economic prosperity. It underlines the improvements in strengthening national reconciliation and social cohesion, as well as the overall security and humanitarian situation, and progress on respect for human rights, which play crucial roles in promoting peace and stability.
“The Security Council also welcomes the successful presidential and legislative elections, conducted respectively in 2015 and 2016, which have helped to consolidate Côte d’Ivoire’s democratic institutions. The Security Council further welcomes the constitutional referendum held in 2016.
“The Security Council recognises the important contribution of UNOCI in promoting peace, stability and development in Côte d’Ivoire throughout its 13 years of existence. The Security Council expresses its appreciation for the efforts of the Operation and the United Nations Country-Team, under the leadership of the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General. The Security Council commends the contribution of troop- and police-contributing countries and donors to UNOCI, and welcomes the support provided by the French forces. It welcomes the good cooperation between UNOCI and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, as well as with bilateral partners, regional and international organizations.
“The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to undertake within a year, and within existing resources, a comprehensive study of the role of UNOCI in the settlement of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire since its establishment, taking into account the contributions of political mediation, the sanctions regime, as well as other relevant factors as appropriate, that allowed for the successful completion of UNOCI's mandate. The Security Council looks forward to the results of this study, including further lessons learned and recommendations, and expresses its intention to consider options for taking them into account in the context of its ongoing work to enhance the overall effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping.
“The Security Council recalls the primary responsibility of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire for ensuring peace, stability and the protection of civilians in Côte d’Ivoire. It welcomes the commitment of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to the stability in the region and to counter terrorism and violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism. It also welcomes the commitment of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to fight against all forms of transnational organized crime. It stresses the importance for Côte d’Ivoire’s long-term stability of ensuring a peaceful, credible and transparent electoral process in 2020.
“The Security Council stresses that there is important work ahead to further advance peace and justice and to secure equitable prosperity for the benefit of all Ivoirians. It underlines the importance of action by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to tackle the remaining challenges in this regard, supported as appropriate by the United Nations country team and the international community.
“The Security Council stresses the need for continued progress, following UNOCI’s withdrawal, in the fight against impunity, the advancement of national reconciliation and social cohesion, the full and equal participation of women in government and public institutions, the reform of the security sector, the promotion and protection of human rights, including through the work conducted by the National Human Rights Commission, as well as the management of refugee returns, statelessness and land tenure.
“Taking note of recent incidents involving members of the security forces, as well as former combatants, the Security Council reaffirms in particular the necessity to prioritize without delay and accelerate the complete implementation of its national security sector reform strategy, in order to further strengthen the professionalization and cohesion of the national security services and to enhance confidence within and between the security forces and the population. The Security Council also stresses the importance of accelerating and consolidating efforts to develop and implement sustainable reintegration opportunities for former Ivoirian combatants, as well as of continuing efforts to improve the monitoring and management of weapons in order to reduce the number of illicit weapons in circulation. The Security Council underlines the crucial contribution of security sector reform to the stability of the country as well as to continued progress in security, national reconciliation and social cohesion.
“The Security Council notes that the Government of Côte d’Ivoire has indicated that the United Nations will continue to be an important partner in the next phase of the development of the country. The departure of UNOCI does not mark the end of the support of the United Nations to sustaining peace in Côte d’Ivoire. The Security Council therefore welcomes the ongoing engagement of the Secretary-General and United Nations country team in support of the efforts of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire as it seeks to preserve and consolidate its peacebuilding gains and in order to promote sustainable development, the rule of law and the strengthening of human rights protections and institutions, as well as tackle other remaining challenges related to security and development. The Security Council recalls in this regard the transition plan presented by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, UNOCI and the United Nations country team, which outlines programmes aimed at contributing to tackle remaining challenges faced by the country. The Security Council encourages the international community, including bilateral and multilateral donors, to assist the activities of the Country Team, including by considering providing funding to this transition plan.
“The Security Council reiterates its request in resolution 2284 (2016) that the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) to make available its good offices, as necessary, to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the United Nations Resident Coordinator.
“The Security Council commends the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Mano River Union for their efforts to consolidate peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire and the subregion, and encourages them to continue to support the Ivorian authorities in addressing key challenges.
“The Security Council underscores the importance of continued support to Côte d’Ivoire as it embarks on the next stage of its development, beyond UNOCI, and welcomes the willingness of the United Nations and bilateral and multilateral partners to continue, as requested by the Ivorian authorities, to play a significant role in this regard.”