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UNOCI WELCOMES THE DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND IVORIAN ACTORS, INCLUDING OPPOSITION PARTIES. IT REAFFIRMS ITS COMMITMENT TO CONTRIBUTE TO NATIONAL RECONCILIATION

By Mission of UN in Côte d'Ivoire
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ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, May 25, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Summary of UNOCI weekly press conference

The United Nations Security Council paid particular attention to the needs of the Government in the area of security sector reform and encouraged all sectors of Ivorian society to reinforce the political dialogue in the interest of local and national reconciliation, the Acting Spokesperson of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) said on Thursday.

According to Ms Sylvie van den Wildenberg, the Council also highlighted the need to continue to strengthen collaboration on the border between Côte d'Ivoire and its neighbour, Liberia.

The Council, based on the Secretary-General's report and its assessment on the ground, will examine the future of the UN mission and reconfigure its profile, said the Spokesperson.

“UNOCI appreciates the fact that the Council was able to hold good discussions with the representatives of political parties which had participated in a meeting in Bassam,” said Ms van den Wildenberg, adding that the Mission was now waiting impatiently to see what activities the Government and the political parties will put in place as a result of their meeting.

In this regard, she reiterated UNOCI's willingness to continue to play a useful role in the creation of a positive political environment in accordance with its mandate.

The Spokesperson was referring to the Security Council's working visit in Côte d'Ivoire from 20 to 23 May, during which it held several meetings. In this context, she said that the delegation, composed of the 15 members of the Council, will return to New York with clear picture from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the crisis in Mali.

Turning to military matters, Ms van den Wildenberg said that the UN Force had carried out 1,450 ground and air patrols and provided free medical treatment for 1,199 patients during the past week.

With regard to Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR), the Spokesperson announced that an arms collection operation will be organised on 30 and 31 May in the Abidjan neighbourhood of Treichville at the initiative of the Commission Nationale pour la Lutte contre la prolifération des armes légères et de petits calibres (COMNAT-ALPC) and UNOCI.

Outlining the Mission's sensitization activities, Ms van den Wildenberg announced the organisation an official ceremony to mark International Peacekeepers Day in Duékoué, 464 kilometres west of Abidjan, on 29 May, which will be attended by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte d'Ivoire, Bert Koenders. The 23rd edition of United Nations Days (UN Days) will also be held in the same town from 28 to 30 May 2012.

The Spokesperson also highlighted several sensitisation activities to promote the culture of peace, social cohesion and national reconciliation targeting at opinion leaders, local authorities, women's organisations and the media throughout the country.