posted on Fri 15 Jul 2011 1:32 PM
Côte d’Ivoire Briefing and Consultations

On Monday, 18 July the Council is expecting a briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Côte d’Ivoire Choi Young-jin. Members will also discuss the recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report about the future of the UN peacekeeping mission, UNOCI. (The mission’s mandate expires on 31 July.)

The Secretary-General based his recommendations for UNOCI’s mandate on the findings of the assessment mission which was in Côte d’Ivoire from 1 to 14 May. The stabilisation of the security situation in Abidjan and the west was identified as the highest priority. (Cooperation between UNMIL and UNOCI on the border with Liberia was the focus of the Secretary-General’s letter to the Council on 15 June.)

Other immediate priorities highlighted included fostering national reconciliation while addressing impunity and accountability; the reconstitution and reform of security and rule of law institutions; disarmament, demoblisation and reintegration of former combatants; collection of weapons from civilian communities; re-establishment of state authority; protection of civilians; addressing the humanitarian situation; development of a sub-regional strategy to address threats and holding legislative elections.

The Secretary-General has recommended an extension of UNOCI’s mandate for one year with tasks based on the conclusions of the assessment mission. He also recommended that the Council maintain UNOCI at its current military strength (including the temporary increases authorised in resolution 1942 and 1967) and increase the number of police officers by 205. He suggested that the military and police strength could be reviewed after the legislative elections which may be held before the end of the year.

With respect to elections it seems that there may be resistance from some members of the Council to continuing the certification role mandated for the Secretary-General’s special representative. (Resolution 1765 mandated that the special representative would certify both the presidential and legislative elections) It appears that some members feel that the the problems following the presidential elections were complicated, rather than helped, by the special representative’s certification role.

France which is the lead country on Côte d’Ivoire is expected to circulate a draft resolution renewing UNOCI’s mandate later this week with the aim of adopting it on 27 July.