National Statement by Sweden at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNOCI


National Statement on behalf of Sweden at the UN Security Council Briefing on United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), 02 June 2017, New York

Mr President,

Let me begin by thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Aïchatou Mindaoudou, for her comprehensive briefing. As this is likely to be our last opportunity to take the floor on UNOCI, we would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the valuable efforts and important work over the past 13 years. I thank the SRSG for her leadership and personal commitment during this important last and final phase.

Today is a day of transition for Côte d'Ivoire. This afternoon we are gathered here to discuss the closing of a peacekeeping mission, while only a few short hours ago Côte d'Ivoire was elected to serve on the Security Council I congratulate Minister Marcel AMON-TANOH on his country's election this morning. We look forward to working with you.

Mr President,

We welcome the continued progress of peace and security in Côte d'Ivoire. The closing of UNOCI at the end of this month represents an important milestone and a new chapter in the history of the country.

As the country begins to chart its way forward, I would like to make three points.

Firstly, while we have many reasons to celebrate, this is not the end of the road for Côte d'Ivoire as it works to consolidate a stable and secure society for all Ivoirians. It is important that we pay attention to the latest developments on the ground, and in particular the second incidence of mutiny by soldiers, which occurred last month. These developments are serious and demand a serious response. It underlines the clear need for the government to carry out meaningful reform of the security sector. This includes the need to restructure the forces, and for enhanced cohesion, discipline and accountability. A reformed security sector will help build the confidence of the population in the security institutions.

In addition, women's participation is of paramount importance in fostering sustainable and inclusive peace. The final report of the Secretary-General illustrates the potential for the increased participation of women in the political process in Côte d'Ivoire. We urge the UN Country Team to contribute to ensuring the participation of women and youth in the transition process.

Secondly, as UNOCI closes its mission, there is a need for continued international engagement. It is important that Côte d'Ivoire's partners provide ongoing support to the government's efforts to sustain peace and safeguard the investments already made in a sustainable future. The African Union and ECOWAS have played an important role in achieving a successful outcome to the Ivoirian peace process. Going forward, regional actors will continue to have an important role to play.

Thirdly, turning to the transition from UNOCI to the United Nations Country Team. While we welcomed the robust transition plan developed by the UN, and agreed with the government at the end of last year, we note that the closing of UNOCI means that the UN presence in the country is facing a "financial cliff".

This risks undermining the sustainability of the gains achieved. We believe that the UN can do even better in ensuring that transitions in general are transformative and forward looking processes. Earlier, more systematic and integrated work across the UN system is needed. We have a joint responsibility to ensure that UN Country Teams have sufficient capacity to enable them to do this.

Mr President,

I join the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in commending the government and people of Côte d'Ivoire for their resilience and for their efforts, with the support of the international community, to restore peace and stability in their country. The conclusion of the UNOCI mission underlines the remarkable journey the country has made since 2004. The international community must now continue to support the government and people of Côte d'Ivoire as they work to build a peaceful, equitable and prosperous country for all Ivoirians.

Thank you


Lisa Laskaridis
Head of Press and Communication, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
Phone +1 212 583 2543
Mobile +1 917 239 0941
email to Lisa Laskaridis