Expected Council Action
In early November the Council will be briefed by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire and the work of UNOCI, and in particular the elections (which at press time remained on track to take place on the 31 October). The mandate of UNOCI expires on 31 December.
Key Recent Developments
On 15 October the Council adopted a resolution renewing the sanctions regime (on arms and diamonds, along with a targeted asset freeze and travel ban on certain individuals) and the mandate of the Group of Experts monitoring the effectiveness of the sanctions regime until 30 April 2011 (S/RES/1946).
On 18 October the Secretary-General’s mid-term report on the UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) was issued (S/2010/537). The Secretary-General recounted the process leading to the establishment of the final voters list and its certification by the head of UNOCI, Choi Young-jin. While noting that the establishment of the list is a major breakthrough in the Ivorian peace process, the report expressed concern about reports that “militia groups and elements” were threatening to disrupt the electoral process.
The Secretary-General further observed that while it was “both difficult and undesirable to foreshadow the outcome” the UN and international partners “must be prepared to deal with possible challenges arising after the first round, as also for the need of a second round of voting”. He indicated that his report in November will give a detailed assessment of the first round of the presidential elections and issues relating to the next steps in Côte d’Ivoire “including arrangements for determining the future direction of UNOCI”.
On 28 October Choi announced that an additional 500 peacekeepers (authorised by the Security Council on 29 September) had arrived to assist in addressing security concerns ahead of the 31 October presidential elections.
Key Issues and Council Dynamics
Council members welcome the improved situation on the ground where there seem to be no obvious political obstacles to the electoral calendar, making the elections in Côte d’Ivoire feasible on 31 October. At press time members remained cautiously optimistic but cognisant of the logistical constraints and potential for problems, and the possible impact on the security dynamics of the country.
There remains wide agreement among Council members on the need to monitor the electoral situation closely and proactively, including through briefings by the Secretariat.
Choi is not expected to brief the Council because of the need for him to be on the ground in early November to monitor developments relating to the electoral and security situation.
France is the lead country on this issue in the Council.