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By Mission of UN in Côte d'Ivoire
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ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, May 14, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Arnauld Akodjénou, on Friday 11 May 2012, symbolically handed over to Côte d'Ivoire's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Daniel Kablan Duncan, three cars representing a batch of 41 vehicles, including two ambulances, donated to the Ivorian Government by the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI).

The donation of the vehicles, which took place at the headquarters of UNOCI, fell within the framework of the collaboration between Côte d'Ivoire and UNOCI, Mr. Akodjénou said, stating that Special Representative Bert Koenders had taken good note of the urgent needs of the Government as it strives to carry out its functions and assume its responsabilities. « UNOCI is going to help your government to be able to assume its responsabilites and will continue to work by your side to consolidate peace and rebuild Côte d'Ivoire, » the Deputy Special Representative added.

M. Akodjènou also reaffirmed the Mission's determination to remain at the side of Ivorians as long as needed for Côte d'Ivoire to become once again the country that it should never have stopped being. « It is incumbent upon you, Mr. Minister of State, to define, in agreement with the members of the Security Council who will soon arrive here, whether this mission should continue or cease its activities, but I know that much remains to be done, that much has been done and that many challenges await you, » he said.

For his part, Mr. Duncan stated that the donation would greatly ease the equipment problems of the services that will benefit from it. « Ever since he arrived in Côte d'Ivoire last year, » the Minister of State said, « Mr. Koenders has been able to gain in-depth knowledge of the realities of the country and especially its needs during this post-crisis period, which has enabled him to note, by himself, the needs of a nation that is emerging from 10 years of an important military and political crisis. »

« The country has many needs and we are aware of them, » Mr. Duncan said, adding that the President of the Republic had taken important measures to confront these challenges. It is a matter of having an emergency programme for the reconstruction or rehabilitation of infrastructure or equipment, and measures for relaunching the national economy, » he said, recalling the three main axes of the Government: peace and security, national reconciliation, reconstruction and economic recovery.

« We know that for the implementation of these axes, we can count on the commitment of the United Nations, in particular through UNOCI, to provide sustained support and assistance to our country and today's handover ceremony is a shining example of this support, » he said. The Minister of State added that the donation, coming as it did a few days before the visit of the UN Security Council to Côte d'Ivoire, augured well for the future of relations between the Ivorian Government and the United Nations in the country's post-crisis reconstruction phase.