Côte d'Ivoire

Annan to attend Paris summit talks on Côte d'Ivoire

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At the invitation of the French Government, the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, will head to Paris to join summit talks over the weekend on Côte d'Ivoire, a UN spokesman said today.
The Secretary-General is scheduled to leave for Paris Thursday evening and will return to New York Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile in Côte d'Ivoire, the Secretary-General's Humanitarian Envoy for the Crisis in that country, Carolyn McAskie, has urged authorities to continue to send a message of tolerance and solidarity to all Ivorians as the massive scale of displacement increases rapidly.

Continuing her efforts to galvanize support and attention to the humanitarian crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, Ms. McAskie met with the Ministers of Education and of Solidarity and Health, as well as Ambassadors of the European Union yesterday in Abidjan. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), she also underscored the importance of addressing the humanitarian needs - particularly education and health - of all Ivorians and other affected populations.

This morning, the Humanitarian Envoy departed for a two-day tour of northern and western areas of the country, where she will carry her message to Bouaké and impress on the rebel group, MPCI, the need to sustain safe access to people providing humanitarian relief.

While there, she is also expected to visit a centre for abandoned children and victims of the conflict run by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). In Yamoussoukro, meanwhile, she will visit internally displaced persons as well as meet with the humanitarian community and local authorities.

Tomorrow Ms. McAskie is scheduled to travel to Guiglo in the west, where, in addition to local authorities and humanitarian actors, she will visit some 7,300 Liberians at a camp operated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).