Côte d'Ivoire

Concerned at delay in plans for Côte d'Ivoire elections, UN SC, in presidential statement, urges parties to work for poll by spring 2009

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Security Council
6014th Meeting (PM)

Expressing deep concern about the possible delay of elections in Côte d'Ivoire for the third time since the signing of the Ouagadougou peace agreement, the Security Council this afternoon urged the parties in the West African country to take immediate and concrete steps leading to a poll before the end of spring 2009.

Towards that end, through a statement read out by Jorge Urbina of Costa Rica, which holds the Council presidency for November, the Council urged all Ivorian political actors to cooperate fully with the Facilitator at the meeting he had called for 10 November 2008, next Monday, to address difficulties in the electoral process, with a view to finding an agreement on a new time frame for the elections, which had been scheduled for 30 November 2008.

By the statement, the Council also urged the President of the Independent Electoral Commission to share with the public the new timeline, including dates "for the full roll out" of the identification process, the provision of electoral lists, the distribution of identity and voter cards and the date of the election itself.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative Y. J. Choi told the Council last month that delays in the electoral processes were imperilling the hard-won peace in Côte d'Ivoire, which is rebuilding after a civil war that divided it in 2002.

The meeting began at 5:17 p.m. and ended at 5:25 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the presidential statement on Côte d'Ivoire (document S/PRST/2008/42) reads as follows:

"The Security Council takes note that, as mentioned in the report of the Secretary-General dated 14 October, the peace process has crossed a critical milestone with the launching of the identification and registration of voters operations on 15 September 2008. It also, however, notes that the delays occurred since the launch of the identification and voter registration processes on 15 September 2008 have proven greater than expected. It takes note that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General indicated on the 27 October 2008 that, if the elections scheduled for 30 November 2008 were delayed, they were likely to be delayed by several months, due mainly to some logistical difficulties. The Security Council expresses its deep concern about a possible third consecutive delay since the signature of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement, which could put at risk the entire Ivorian peace process.

"The Security Council commends the Facilitator for convening a meeting of the permanent consultative framework on 10 November 2008, in order for the Ivorian political actors to address all the main difficulties of the electoral process, and in particular with a view to finding an agreement on the new electoral time frame. It urges all the Ivorian political actors to cooperate fully with the Facilitator, with the support of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and to demonstrate their political determination to fulfil the commitments taken in the Ouagadougou Agreement and in the framework of its follow-up mechanisms.

"The Security Council further urges to this end the President of the Independent Electoral Commission, which is in charge of the organization of the elections, to share publicly this new timeline, including in particular the full roll out of the identification process and some other stages, such as the publication of the provisional and final versions of the electoral list, the fabrication and distribution of the identity and voter cards and the date of the presidential election. It emphasizes that all political actors must pay a particular attention to the accumulating logistical delay.

"The Security Council urges the Ivorian parties to take immediately, and as a priority, the concrete steps necessary to complete the identification and registration of voter operations in a credible and transparent manner before the end of January 2009. It expresses its determination to bring its full support to a credible electoral process in Côte d'Ivoire, on the understanding that the presidential elections will be organized before the end of spring 2009. The Security Council recalls that all political parties agreed to abide by the Code of Good Conduct for elections they signed under the auspices of the Secretary-General on 23 April 2008.

"The Security Council recalls that, pursuant to resolutions 1572 (2004) and 1842 (2008), any threat to the electoral process in Côte d'Ivoire shall constitute a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process, and it reaffirms its determination to impose targeted measures against any person designated by its sanctions committee concerning Côte d'Ivoire to be responsible for these threats. The Security Council expresses its willingness to review the sanctions regime at the latest three months after the presidential elections.

"The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to keep it informed of the evolution of the situation. It reaffirms its full support to the efforts of his Special Representative and his certification mandate, including the explicit certification of the electoral list. It expresses its intention to take the progress of the electoral process fully in consideration when it will review the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and the French forces which support it, before 31 January 2009."

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