Posted by: africanpressorganization | 9 November 2011

Côte d’Ivoire / UNOCI head co-chairs meeting on financing of legislative polls



Côte d’Ivoire / UNOCI head co-chairs meeting on financing of legislative polls


ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, November 9, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire, Bert Koenders, on Wednesday, 9 November, co-chaired a meeting held at the headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to assess preparations for the 11 December legislative polls, and the situation regarding contributions by external partners to the funding of the elections.


Mr. Koenders, who was participating for the first time in a meeting between the IEC and external partners, highlighted the importance of the international community’s support to the IEC. “The election of members to the National Assembly constitutes, for us, the second phase of the crisis-resolution process, but also the natural extension of the presidential election towards the establishment of republican institutions,” he said, recalling in this regard the crucial nature of the work of UNOCI and the international partners.


In this regard, Mr. Koenders stressed the logistical and organizational challenge that the legislative polls represent for Côte d’Ivoire and for the international community. Where this is concerned, the UNOCI chief said he had had a close look at the damage undergone by the IEC which, he said, had felt the impact of the post-electoral crisis strongly through the destruction and deterioration of infrastructure and materials. This affected the institution’s operational capacity, said the Special Representative, who went on to reaffirm the Mission’s willingness to help the IEC to meet these and other major challenges.


“We shall support all efforts that will contribute to an atmosphere that is conducive to the organisation of calm and free elections,” Mr. Koenders stressed, adding that the international community’s accompanying role should translate into the involvement of one and all, as well as the combining of efforts and resources with a view to promoting a peaceful political climate.


Referring to the legislative elections, the Special representative reiterated the commitment of UNOCI, jointly with its national partners, particularly with regard to mobilizing financial resources for the elections, as well as technical and logistical support.


According to the head of UNOCI, the mission will transport the electoral material to the various departments, while transport from the departmental centres to polling stations will be done by the European Union, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office for Project Support Services (UNOPS).


In the area of security, the Special Representative stated that the UN forces were in contact with the national forces and the IEC to harmonise the final plan for security provisions for the election process, which encompasses the electoral administration and its branches, the election campaign, electoral materials and the results.


However, he said a number of challenges remained, such as making the local IEC commissions operational, reinforcing the working framework between the national and international partners, and rigourous decision-making so that timelines can be respected. On this particular issue, Mr. Koenders made reference to the printing of electoral documents and ballot papers, among other issues.


With regard to other challenges, Mr. Koenders mentioned the receipt of the election material in time so that they can be ready for use in an adequate manner on election day. Finally, he mentioned the establishment of voters’ lists on time and throughout the country.


Many ambassadors and chargés d’affaires, representatives of the offices and agencies of the UN system, the representatives of the Special representative of the Facilitator of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement, members of the IEC’s executive office and a UNOCI delegation including the Electoral Assistance Office and the Certification Cell attended the meeting.



Mission of UN in Côte d’Ivoire


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