Côte d’Ivoire Group of Experts Mandate Renewal
The Security Council looks set to adopt a resolution tomorrow morning (25 April) renewing for a period of 12 months the sanctions regime on Côte d’Ivoire and the mandate of the Group of Experts (GoE)assisting the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee. Council members met in a round of negotiations at the expert level on Friday (19 April) and the draft resolution was put in blue this afternoon (24 April). The resolution rolls over most of the measures in resolution 2045, namely an arms embargo, a ban on diamond exports and targeted sanctions on a number of individuals.
While there had been some discussions about modifying the sanctions regime, it seems that there was general agreement that, given the current security situation in the country, this was not the time to ease up substantially on sanctions. The draft resolution includes progress achieved in relation to disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR), national reconciliation and the fight against impunity as conditions for further modifying or lifting the remaining sanctions measures.
Reflecting issues raised by some Council members in the briefing in consultations by Ambassador Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala), the chair of the 1572 Committee, the resolution also expresses concern at the findings of the GoE in their final report on the extension of an illegal taxation system, the increase in the number of checkpoints and incidents of racketeering, the lack of capacity and resources available for the control of borders and large-scale contraband of natural resources. The resolution mandates the GoE to assess the effectiveness of new customs and border control mechanisms in the region.
The draft resolution does not alter the sanctions regime except for a change in the notification system by which member states delivering non-lethal law enforcement equipment to the Côte d’Ivoire security forces may notify the Committee of any shipment themselves to ensure the Committee keeps track of the material delivered.
There appears to have been just one point of contention. Earlier this week, Guatemala proposed that the draft resolution should include language welcoming the efforts made by the Secretariat to expand and improve the roster of experts kept for the Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch for the purpose of integrating the various Groups or Panels of Experts and Monitoring Groups mandated by the Security Council. The proposed language also requested the Secretariat to take into account the selection criteria laid out in the Note of the President S/2006/997, including equitable geographic distribution and gender balance. It seems the proposal was supported by Argentina, Azerbaijan, China, Pakistan, Rwanda and Russia. Other Council members, including France, the UK and the US were against the insertion of the proposed language alleging that it was of a “horizontal” nature and transcended the Côte d’Ivoire sanctions regime. Finally after bilateral discussions between the US and Guatemala yesterday (23 April) compromise language was found. The draft resolution that is in blue mentions the Note of the President S/2006/997 but does not spell out any reference to the geographical distribution of the experts.