Official mission to the northern region of Cote d'Ivoire
National Action Plan for the Eradication of Statelessness (PANEA-CI) ENACTED
UNHCR assisted with the voluntary repatriation of 149 Ivorian refugees in January 2020
WORKING WITH PARTNERS
The Regional Director of the Ministry of Family, Women and Child Protection met UNHCR Head of the Sub-Delegation office and other United Nations agencies representatives based in the UNHCR Office in Guiglo, for New Year's greetings. During the meeting the United Nations reiterated its commitment to work firmly with the government's decentralised structures in Guiglo. Above all, they expressed their eagerness to see activities of the GBV platform regain the upper hand in the region.
BO Abidjan with the support of its key partners have contributed and made possible the enactment of the National Action Plan for the Eradication of Statelessness (PANEA-CI) by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire at the minister’s council on 08 January 2020. Côte d’Ivoire therefore becomes the ninth of the fifteen ECOWAS states to adopt a National Action Plan against statelessness, following the Declaration of Abidjan of 2015.
The enactment of the NAP against statelessness in principle should not entail any consequences for the country insofar as the initiatives proposed by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire during the 2019 Executive Committee have varied deadlines and can be implemented in a staggered manner over a period of 5 years. The enactment of the NAP would also enable to launch funding procedures for numerous activities and legislative reforms, in particular through the appeal for funds that UNHCR is preparing to launch with regards to tackling statelessness in 12 States including Côte d'Ivoire (Dominican Republic, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Myanmar, Niger, Philippines, Syria, Thailand, Ukraine and Viet-Nam).
We must, however, already consider that with the election year and the country's controversial background on nationality, the implementation of the National Action Plan against statelessness will constitute a major challenge in 2020. Still wrongly associated with the issuance of Ivorian citizenship, despite UNHCR's efforts in terms of public awareness campaigns, statelessness remains a sensitive issue. Given that the crises experienced by the country over the last two decades were mainly related to nationality and the question of “Ivoirité” issues, the current political situation and upcoming elections cannot be considered conducive to the smooth implementation of the NAP as it has already been foreseen by UNHCR Côte d’Ivoire.
In the course of the United Nations Heads of Agencies retreat in the northern part of Côte d'Ivoire, UNHCR Resident Representative took the opportunity to inquire about the working conditions of UNHCR Field Protection Assistants (FPA) in the region. He seized the opportunity while paying a courtesy visit to the prefect of Tengrela and Kouto to introduce Boundiali UNHCR Field Protection Assistants to the administrative and judicial authorities. The visit was also marked by the handing over ceremony of nationality certificates to six (6) persons at risk of statelessness in Boundiali in presence of the General Secretary of Boundiali court, the Mayor of Boundiali and UNHCR's partner AFJCI organizer of the ceremony.
UNHCR FPA and partners have pointed out few challenges linked to birth registration and the cost of suppletive jugements. To face the different challenges, sensitization with specific themes on the importance of birth registration were doubled and discussions towards the reduction of the suppletive judgement cost were initiated.
A meeting chaired by the Regional Prefect, Prefect of the Department of Guiglo to sensitize traditional chiefs and community leaders of the Cavally region on peaceful elections in 2020 was held.The exchanges focused on the role of the latter in the process for the peace and cohesion maintenance in the region. The assembly was also informed of the arrival in Guiglo of a delegation of the Grand Mediator of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, for the official installation of his delegate in the Cavally region (the institution ''the Mediator of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire'' is the presidential mediation body (OPREM) instituted by decree N0 95-816 of 29 September 1995, whose main role is to help reinforce social cohesion).