|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5820th Meeting* (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UNITED NATIONS OPERATION IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE,
SUPPORTING FRENCH FORCES, TO BACK COUNTRY’S EFFORTS TO ORGANIZE ELECTIONS
The Security Council today extended until 30 July 2008 the mandates of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the French forces backing it, in order to support the West African country’s efforts to organize free and fair elections.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1795 (2008), which extended the mission to assist the Ivorian parties in implementing the Supplementary Agreements recently signed by President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, setting out new timelines for the completion of tasks outstanding under the Ouagadougou Agreement, including the holding of presidential elections by June 2008.
The Council called on the Ivorian parties to implement the Supplementary Agreements and the Ouagadougou political accord “fully, in good faith and within the amended time frame set out in these Agreements, which will require the Ivorian parties to redouble their efforts, and encourages the international community to bring continued support to this effect”.
The Ouagadougou Agreement, struck in the capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso last March, details a series of measures to deal with the crisis that first divided Côte d’Ivoire in 2002 between the Government-controlled south and the north, held by the rebel Forces nouvelles. Those measures included the creation of a new transitional Government; merging the Forces nouvelles and the national defence and security forces through the establishment of an integrated command centre; and replacing the so-called zone of confidence separating north and south with a “green line”, to be monitored by UNOCI.
Today’s resolution expressed the Council’s intention to review by 30 July 2008 the mandates of UNOCI and the French forces, as well as the level of UNOCI troops, “in light of the progress achieved in the implementation of the key steps of the peace process”. It requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide the Council with a report on those key steps three weeks before the review deadline date.
The Council also requested the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed, particularly about the preparations of the electoral process, including the registration of voters, and to provide a report in that regard no later than 15 April 2008. It also welcomed the establishment by UNOCI of a certification support cell to assist the Special Representative in fulfilling that task.
The resolution welcomed the Secretary-General’s latest report on the work of UNOCI, which cautioned that, while security and political conditions in Côte d’Ivoire had improved in recent months, those gains were fragile given the slow progress in achieving key benchmarks of the Ouagadougou Agreement, including those concerning the dismantling of militias and disarming ex-combatants.
According to the Secretary-General’s report (document S/2008/1), the national armed forces and those of the Forces nouvelles have shown an increased willingness to collaborate, but “systematic factors of instability” continue to pose a potential threat to the future of the peace process. Those factors include the lack of significant progress in unifying the defence and security forces and the dismantling of militias, as well as a rise in criminal activities linked to the prevalence of weapons in the country.
The Secretary-General noted that achieving the goals set out in the various agreements would require a redoubling of efforts by the parties and their international partners, including the provision of the required resources for a number of key processes, the identification of the population, voter registration, disarmament and the re-establishment of State authority. The holding of credible, free, fair and transparent elections would “be crucial for lasting peace in Côte d’Ivoire, as will the fight against impunity”, the report concluded.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:10 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1795 (2008) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions, in particular resolutions 1739 (2007) and 1765 (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,
“Expressing again its appreciation to the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso (“the Facilitator”) for his continued efforts to facilitate the inter-Ivorian direct dialogue that led, in particular, to the signing of the Ouagadougou political Agreement, 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 2 January 2008 (S/2008/1),
“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/2007/93),
“Recalling also its resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security, and its resolution 1674 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict,
“Welcoming 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 political Agreement, stressing the importance of this 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,
“Welcoming the success of the donors’ round table of 18 July 2007 and emphasizing the importance of the continuing support of the United Nations system and the international community for strengthening the capacity of the Government of Cote d’Ivoire and of the electoral bodies in order to organize the presidential and legislative elections,
“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. Welcomes Supplementary Agreements number 2 and 3 signed by President Laurent Gbagbo and Mr Guillaume Soro in Ouagadougou on 28 November 2007 (“the Supplementary Agreements”) under the facilitation of President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso;
“2. Takes note of the recommendations of the African Union in this regard, endorses the Supplementary Agreements, calls upon the Ivorian parties to implement the Supplementary Agreements and the Ouagadougou political agreement fully, in good faith and within the amended time frame set out in these Agreements, which will require the Ivorian parties to redouble their efforts, and encourages the international community to bring continued support to this effect;
“3. Commends the Facilitator for his continued efforts to support the peace process and encourages the Ivorian parties to make further concrete progress, in particular in the identification of the Ivorian population and registration of voters, the disarmament and dismantling of militias, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, the unification and restructuring of defence and security forces and the restoration of State authority throughout the country;
“4. 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 30 July 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 the Supplementary Agreements of 28 November 2007;
“5. Requests UNOCI, within its existing resources and mandate, to support the full implementation of the Ouagadougou political Agreement and of Supplementary Agreement number 3;
“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. 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;
“8. Expresses its intention to review by 30 July 2008 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 three weeks before this date;
“9. Gives its full support to the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Côte d’Ivoire and recallsthat 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;
“10. Requests the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed in particular on the preparation of the electoral process, including registration of voters, and notably by providing to it a report in this regard no later than 15 April 2008, and welcomesthe establishment by UNOCI of a certification support cell to assist the Special Representative in fulfilling this task;
“11. 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;
“12. 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;
“13. Encourages the Facilitator to continue 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 the Supplementary Agreement number 3;
“14. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
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* The 5819th Meeting was closed.