Thank you Madam President,
Pakistan fully supports the efforts of the United Nations for restoration of peace and stability in Cote d’Ivoire. Pakistan has been a major contributor to the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) since 2004.
While the report of the Secretary-General notes Cote d’Ivoire's continuing progress on the path to peace, it also underscores the significant threats that still remain. These include deep political divisions, presence of networks associated with the former regime aiming to destabilize the Government, mercenaries and former combatants along the border with Liberia, weapons proliferation, and slow progress in reconciliation, DDR and SSR. The overall security situation in Cote d’Ivoire, in particular along the border with Liberia, which poses a threat to both Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire, is also highlighted.
A Technical Assessment Mission led by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations visited Cote d’Ivoire in February 2013 to assess the need for adjustments in structure and strength of UNOCI. In the light of persisting challenges and threats identified by the mission, the Secretary-General recommended progressive reduction of two additional battalions by mid-2015.
We are a little concerned about the accelerated pace of the drawdown of the military component of UNOCI. Recommendations of technical assessment missions and military capability studies, which are based on threat perceptions, security situation and future mission requirements, should be given due weight in decisions of the Security Council.
Cote d’Ivoire is entering into an important phase of its stabilization as the country approaches Presidential elections in 2015. This requires a cautious approach and careful planning to avoid any setback or reversal of the gains. Adoption of the accelerated military drawdown may send a wrong signal to those who are planning to undermine the stability of Cote d’Ivoire.
I underscore Pakistan’s continued commitment to contributing to the peace and stability in Cote d’Ivoire.
I thank you.