16 April 2003

Press Statement on Côte d'Ivoire by Security Council President

NEW YORK, 15 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the statement to the press on Côte d'Ivoire delivered today by Security Council President Adolfo Aguilar Zinser (Mexico):

Members of the Council welcomed the new decree delegating powers to the Prime Minister and the progressive formation of the Government of national reconciliation.

Members of the Council expressed serious concern following the recent violations of the ceasefire in Côte d'Ivoire. They called on all parties to respect the commitments they made and to immediately end attacks that undermine the continuation of the process of peace and reconciliation. They took note with satisfaction of the statement by President Gbagbo dated 11 April and called for its implementation. They also expressed their deep concern at the use of mercenaries, other foreign-armed elements, forced recruitment, including recruitment of children, and demanded all parties to refrain from these practices immediately.

Members of the Council called upon the parties to respect human rights and international humanitarian law.

Members of the Council called on the parties to continue to move the Linas-Marcoussis process forward, and reaffirmed their willingness to support the efforts of the parties in implementing their commitments. They reaffirmed their full support for the Monitoring Committee.

Members of the Council renewed their support for French and the Economic Community of West African States' (ECOWAS) forces. They called on donors to disburse the contributions they have announced to finance and, if possible, strengthen the ECOWAS force.

Members of the Security Council stressed again their concern over the humanitarian situation and called on Members States to respond to the appeal that will be launched at the end of the month in Abidjan and Geneva.

Members of the Council recalled their intention to travel in the near future to West Africa, in particular in Côte d'Ivoire.

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