Item 10: Interactive Dialogue on the
Independent Expert’s Report on Cote d’Ivoire
As Delivered by Ethan Tabor
Statement & Questions by the United States of America
Human Rights Council 22nd Session
March 19, 2013
The United States thanks the Independent Expert for his work. The United States has long supported the Ivoirian people and we would like to acknowledge and thank the Government of Cote d’Ivoire for its cooperation with the Independent Expert.
Last year, Cote d’Ivoire’s cooperation with the Commission of Inquiry set an important example. Now, Cote d’Ivoire’s continued engagement with the Council’s mechanisms is allowing the Council to contribute positively to reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire. We appreciate the Independent Expert’s comprehensive analysis of factors that affect the human rights environment, and look forward to working with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the international community to address the concerns raised in the report.
The Independent Expert has highlighted many human rights violations and abuses in his report. The sheer number of human rights issues that Cote d’Ivoire must address after more than a decade of conflict is challenging; however, we would like to highlight two in particular. First, we strongly support the Independent Expert’s observations that the Government must make progress in implementing security sector reform as well as in disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration. The lack of implementation in these areas has contributed to rising insecurity and human rights violations and abuses.
Second, we commend Cote d’Ivoire’s efforts in its fight against impunity, but note the need for greater consistency and attention in this area. Justice must be impartial to pave the way for long-term peace and reconciliation. Perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses should be held accountable regardless of their political, ethnic, or regional affiliation. We also share the concerns of the Independent Expert regarding the need for high-level coordination in the government among the various mechanisms created to promote justice and reconciliation, and for the good work of those mechanisms to be continued and acted upon. For example, it is crucial that thousands of abuses detailed in the report of the National Commission of Inquiry be fully investigated and incorporated into the government’s overall prosecution strategy. We also continue to urge Cote d’Ivoire to adhere to its commitments to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court. Combating impunity by all parties to the conflict through concerted and coordinated action of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Human Rights, and other investigative and judicial bodies, will secure democratic gains and promote the national unity for which Cote d’Ivoire has struggled so long.
In closing, we recognize and laud Cote d’Ivoire for cooperating with the Independent Expert in an effort to improve the lives of its people.
- What could be behind the sharp increase in sexual assault against women and children? How should the government and the international community address this problem?
- You note the importance of including the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) in the political process. How do you recommend the government include the FPI if they continue to refuse to participate?