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Côte d'Ivoire / UNOCI chief attends Ivorian President's meeting with diplomatic corps

By Mission of UN in Côte d'Ivoire
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ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, December 9, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- UNOCI chief attends Ivorian President's meeting with diplomatic corps

«It was an extremely important speech, a speech reflecting the normalisation of relations between Côte d'Ivoire and the rest of the world. It's a speech focusing on the future of Côte d'Ivoire, reintegration, the need to be part of a world that is modernizing very quickly». These were the sentiments expressed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Bert Koenders, at the end of a meeting Ivorian President Alassane Dramane Ouattara had with the diplomatic corps and heads of international institutions on Thursday 8 December 2011.

The head of the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) said he had been touched by the fact that President Ouattara had placed emphasis on the three important axes of the Ivorian peace process: security sector reform, national reconciliation and economic recovery along with national reconstruction. “It was constructive! It's not the speech of a president who just wants to stay in the country, but of one who sees the future in a globalised world,” Mr. Koenders said.

He also stressed the role that UNOCI could play in the new vision of Côte d'Ivoire proposed by President Ouattara. “After the elections and I hope they go well, the transition has to be viewed from these three axes,” he said. “We are there to accompany it. It's important because it is in the years immediately after a crisis, that a country has the opportunity to find its place in the region and the world”.

President Ouattara, who was meeting the diplomatic corps and heads of international institutions, all together, for the first time since his swearing in, thanked them for the support provided to Côte d'Ivoire, which had been rocked by an unprecedented crisis that had adversely affected social cohesion, the economy and security. He said the indicators for all these sectors had been in the red, but were today back to normal.