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The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions, in particular resolutions 1572 (2004), 1893 (2009), 1911 (2010), 1924 (2010), 1933 (2010), 1942 (2010), 1946 (2010), 1951 (2010), 1962 (2010), 1967 (2011), 1968 (2011) and the statements of its President relating to the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, and resolution 1938 (2010) on the situation in Liberia,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Côte d’Ivoire, and recalling the importance of the principles of good-neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,

Reiterating its strong desire that the post-electoral crisis in Côte d’Ivoire be resolved peacefully and require an overall political solution that preserves democracy and peace and promotes lasting reconciliation among Ivorians,

Commending the constructive efforts of the African Union High-level Panel for the resolution of the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire and reiterating its support to the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for their commitment to resolve the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire,

Welcoming the decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union adopted at its 265th meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government, held on 10 March 2011 in Addis Ababa, which reaffirms all its previous decisions on the rapidly deteriorating post-electoral crisis facing Côte d’Ivoire since the second round of the presidential election, on 28 November 2010, which recognize the election of Mr Alassane Dramane Ouattara as the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire,

Welcoming the political initiatives and noting the communiqué and the resolution on Côte d’Ivoire adopted by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on 24 March 2011,

Expressing grave concern about the recent escalation of violence in Côte d’Ivoire and the risk of relapse into civil war and urging all parties to show utmost restraint to prevent such outcome and to resolve their differences peacefully,

Condemning unequivocally all provocative action and statements that constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility, hatred and violence made by any party,

Condemning the serious abuses and violations of international law in Côte d’Ivoire, including humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, reaffirming the primary responsibility of each State to protect civilians and reiterating that parties to armed conflicts bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance and the safety of humanitarian personnel, recalling its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1889 (2009) on women, peace and security, its resolution 1612 (2005) and 1882 (2009) on children and armed conflict and its resolution 1674 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts,

Welcoming the Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/16/25 of 25 March 2011, including the decision to dispatch an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations of serious abuses and violations of human rights committed in Côte d’Ivoire following the presidential elections of 28 November 2010,

Stressing that those responsible for such serious abuses and violations, including by forces under their control, must be held accountable,

Reaffirming that it is the responsibility of Côte d’Ivoire to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, to investigate alleged violations of human rights and international law and to bring to justice those responsible for such acts,

Considering that the attacks currently taking place in Côte d’Ivoire against the civilian population could amount to crimes against humanity and that perpetrators of such crimes must be held accountable under international law and noting that the International Criminal Court may decide on its jurisdiction over the situation in Côte d’Ivoire on the basis of article 12, paragraph 3 of the Rome Statute,

Determining that the situation in Côte d’Ivoire continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Urges all the Ivorian parties and other stakeholders to respect the will of the people and the election of Alassane Dramane Ouattara as President of Côte d’Ivoire, as recognized by ECOWAS, the African Union and the rest of the international community, expresses its concern at the recent escalation of violence and demands an immediate end to the violence against civilians, including women, children and Internally displaced persons;

2. Calls upon all parties to pursue the overall political solution of the African Union and, in this regard, welcomes the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council Summit of 10 March to appoint a High Representative for the implementation of the overall political solution and calls upon all parties to fully cooperate with him;

3. Condemns the decision of Mr. Laurent Gbagbo not to accept the overall political solution proposed by the High-Level panel put in place by the African Union, and urges him to immediately step aside;

4. Urges all Ivorian State institutions, including the Defence and Security Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FDSCI), to yield to the authority vested by the Ivorian people in President Alassane Dramane Ouattara, condemns the attacks, threats, acts of obstructions and violence perpetrated by FDSCI, militias and mercenaries against United Nations personnel, obstructing them from protecting civilians, monitoring and helping investigate human rights violations and abuses, stresses that those responsible for such crimes under international law must be held accountable and calls upon all parties, in particular Mr. Laurent Gbagbo’s supporters and forces, to fully cooperate with the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and cease interfering with UNOCI’s activities in implementation of its mandate;

5. Reiterates its firm condemnation of all violence committed against civilians, including women, children, internally displaced persons and foreign nationals, and other violations and abuses of human rights, in particular enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, killing and maiming of children and rapes and other forms of sexual violence;

6. Recalls its authorization and stresses its full support given to the UNOCI, while impartially implementing its mandate, to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and its areas of deployment, including to prevent the use of heavy weapons against the civilian population and requests the Secretary-General to keep it urgently informed of measures taken and efforts made in this regard;

7. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully in the operation of UNOCI and French forces which support it, in particular by guaranteeing their safety, security and freedom of movement with unhindered and immediate access throughout the territory of Côte d’Ivoire, to enable them to fully carry out their mandate;

8. Calls upon all parties to fully cooperate with the independent international commission of inquiry put in place by the Human Rights Council on 25 March 2011 to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations of serious abuses and violations of human rights committed in Côte d’Ivoire following the presidential elections of 28 November 2010, and requests the Secretary-General to transmit this report to the Security Council and other relevant international bodies;

9. Condemns the use of Radiodiffusion Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI) and other media to incite discrimination, hostility, hatred and violence, including against UNOCI, as well as acts of intimidation and violence against journalists, and calls for the lifting of all restrictions placed on the exercise of the right of freedom of expression in Côte d’Ivoire;

10. Expresses deep concern about the increasing number of internally displaced persons and Ivorian refugees, especially in Liberia, caused by the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, and calls on all Ivorian parties to cooperate fully with United Nations agencies and other actors working to enhance access to humanitarian aid to refugees and internally displaced persons;

11. Reiterates its longstanding demand that Mr. Laurent Gbagbo lift the siege of Golf Hotel without delay;

12. Decides to adopt targeted sanctions against those individuals who meet the criteria set out in resolution 1572 (2004) and subsequent resolutions, including those individuals who obstruct peace and reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire, obstruct the work of UNOCI and other international actors in Côte d’Ivoire and commit serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and therefore decides that the individuals listed in Annex I of this resolution shall be subject to the financial and travel measures imposed by paragraphs 9 to 11 of resolution 1572 (2004), and reaffirms its intention to consider further measures, as appropriate, including targeted sanctions against media actors who meet the relevant sanctions criteria, including by inciting publicly hatred and violence;

13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Annex I: Targeted sanctions

1. Laurent Gbagbo
Date of birth: 31 May 1945
Place of birth: Gagnoa, Côte d’Ivoire
Former President of Côte d’Ivoire: obstruction of the peace and reconciliation process, rejection of the results of the presidential election.

2. Simone Gbagbo
Date of birth: 20 June 1949
Place of birth: Moossou, Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Group of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI): obstruction of the peace and reconciliation process, public incitement to hatred and violence.

3. Désiré Tagro
Passport number: PD – AE 065FH08
Date of birth: 27 January 1959
Place of birth: Issia, Côte d’Ivoire
Secretary-General in the so-called “presidency” of Mr. Gbagbo: participation in the illegitimate government of Mr. Gbagbo, obstruction of the peace and reconciliation process, rejection of the results of the presidential election, participation in violent repressions of popular movements.

4. Pascal Affi N’Guessan
Passport number: PD-AE 09DD00013.
Date of birth: 1 January 1953
Place of birth: Bouadriko, Côte d’Ivoire
Chairman of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI): obstruction of the peace and reconciliation process, incitement to hatred and violence.

5. Alcide Djédjé
Date of birth: 20 October 1956
Place of birth: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Close advisor to Mr. Gbagbo: participation in the illegitimate government of Mr. Gbagbo, obstruction of the peace and reconciliation process, public incitement to hatred and violence.

Record

The President Mr. Li Baodong (China) (spoke in Chinese): Under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I should like to invite the representative of Côte d’Ivoire to participate in this meeting.

The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.

Members of the Council have before them document S/2011/202, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by France and Nigeria.

I wish to draw the attention of Council members to document S/2011/182, which contains a letter dated 24 March 2011 from the Permanent Representative of Nigeria addressed to the President of the Security Council.

It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it.

I shall now put the draft resolution to the vote.

A vote was taken by show of hands.

In favour:

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Gabon, Germany, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America

The President (spoke in Chinese): The draft resolution received 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1975 (2011).

I shall now give the floor to those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.

Mrs. Ogwu (Nigeria): When the thirty-ninth Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government called upon the Security Council to revisit the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, it did so in response to the rapidly deteriorating political security and humanitarian situation in that country.

The reports that we have received from numerous sources, including those from the Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, indicate that the unthinkable is taking place before our very eyes. The fragile peace established by the Ouagadougou accord a mere four years ago is quickly unravelling through patterns of killing, rape and the destruction of property. Angry militias and young people are being indoctrinated, trained, armed and deployed to seek out and harm civilian targets, increasingly through the use of heavy weaponry and explosives.

Those hardest hit are the most vulnerable — women and children who have committed no greater crime than trying to lead a normal life. Not only are civilians suffering from indiscriminate attacks, there is mounting evidence that they are also being specifically targeted. Such heinous acts violate international humanitarian law. The fact that the violence is beginning to take on ethnic and sectarian overtones is an indication of the risk of a relapse into the recent state of civil war in Côte d’Ivoire.

As stakeholders in the future of Côte d’Ivoire, the United Nations, ECOWAS and the African Union have a moral and legal obligation. Therefore, we cannot be a party to this inexorable degeneration. The inevitable consequence of such a relapse would imperil the West African subregion. This is already happening, as civilians have begun to seek refuge in Liberia, Ghana and other neighbouring countries. The added strain on those societies should not be underestimated, and the risk of conflict spillover is all too real.

Further, there is evidence of attacks on foreign nationals, including targeted attacks on those from ECOWAS States. Let there be no doubt that this situation is a collective global responsibility. We must act now.

The current situation is without a doubt a direct consequence of the refusal of Mr. Laurent Gbagbo to cede power to President Alassane Ouattara. This is unacceptable. Mr. Gbagbo’s intransigence threatens to plunge his country, once the beacon of the subregion, into a bloody and protracted civil war. It is indeed time to translate the words of the Security Council’s press statements of 10 January, 3 March and 11 March 2011 into concrete action.

In response to the rapidly developing circumstances, this resolution reinforces those sanctions already in place, as part of an incremental approach, to which we have all agreed, to resolving the conflict. Nigeria is confident that the resolution strengthens the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) to protect Ivorians and provides the necessary space for UNOCI and other international actors to work without hindrance.

The targeted measures against Mr. Gbagbo and his close associates will complement and strengthen the international actions that have curtailed his access to Côte d’Ivoire’s accounts and resources. Moreover, our support for the political efforts of the African Union and other interlocutors has already been expressed in the Council. These preventive diplomacy strategies can create space for a peaceful transition of power.

The collective action that we have taken today by adopting this resolution is a significant step towards protecting the defenceless civilians, including women and children, in Côte d’Ivoire, who bear the brunt of the brutal attacks.

The political stalemate in Côte d’Ivoire has led to an absence of effective governance, and, indeed, the unrest is spiralling out of control. This resolution provides an opportunity to stem the tide of conflict in Côte d’Ivoire. In this defining moment for Côte d’Ivoire, it is imperative that we all ensure that the valid aspirations of the Ivorian people are ultimately fulfilled.

Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri (India): India is seriously concerned at the situation that has prevailed in Côte d’Ivoire since the presidential elections last year. We have consistently held that both parties in Côte d’Ivoire should exercise maximum restraint and respect the outcome of the elections. We have urged the parties to ensure that there is no violence, because it harms the well-being of the Ivorian people and distracts from the main task of economic development, social cohesion and national reconciliation.

During the last three months, we have supported all efforts to resolve the current problem peacefully and through dialogue. To that end, we have supported the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to find a political solution leading to the restoration of democracy and the will of the Ivorian people at the earliest. With that objective in mind, we voted in favour of the resolution adopted today.

We want to put on record that United Nations peacekeepers should draw their mandate from the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. They cannot be made instruments of regime change. Accordingly, the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) should not become a party to the Ivorian political stalemate. UNOCI should also not get involved in a civil war, but carry out its mandate with impartiality and while ensuring the safety and security of peacekeepers and civilians. In this context, we have noted that a UNOCI helicopter was fired upon by the Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire yesterday, 29 March. We call on all parties to respect UNOCI’s military impartiality.

The Council has heard various allegations of serious crimes committed against civilians in Côte d’Ivoire. There should be no a priori presumption about the nature of these alleged crimes. Each allegation has to be investigated on a case-by-case basis by the competent national bodies, and further action taken pursuant to relevant laws.

We also want to place on record our growing concern at the tendency to hurry the process of adopting resolutions. We think that there should be enough time for deliberations and consultations with all countries concerned. In situations such as those envisaged in the present resolution, it is imperative that troop-contributing countries be first consulted on the mandate of United Nations peacekeepers. Such consultations are necessary not only to making well-considered decisions, but also to the effective implementation of the mandate.

We want to reiterate that India is not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Of the 192 Members of the United Nations, only 114 are members of the ICC. Five of the 15 members of the Security Council, including three permanent members, are not parties to the Rome Statute. It is also important to note that there are clear legal provisions concerning States parties to the Rome Statute. There are also guidelines for States that are not parties to the Rome Statute to accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the ICC. These provisions and guidelines should be followed without exception. It merits underlining that there is no mandate in resolution 1975 (2011) for the Security Council to refer the situation in Côte d’Ivoire to the ICC.

Mr. Sangqu (South Africa): South Africa remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Côte d’Ivoire, a sisterly country that has always been a beacon of stability and prosperity in West Africa and Africa as a whole. South Africa believes that the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States and the United Nations must persist in their quest to find a peaceful political solution to the current crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, which is now rapidly slipping into civil war. A political solution aimed at restoring national reconciliation and unity, democracy and good governance is the only sustainable approach to ensuring long-term stability in Côte d’Ivoire.

In that regard, the African Union Peace and Security Council, in its summit meeting of 10 March, endorsed the recommendations of its High-level Panel on an overall political solution to the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. The AU reaffirmed its recognition of the election of Mr. Alassane Ouattara as the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. South Africa wishes to encourage the Chairperson of the AU Commission to continue in his efforts to appoint a high representative whose mandate would be to implement an overall political solution and to complete the process for a way out of the crisis.

The indiscriminate violence throughout the country continues to cause untold human suffering, with serious regional consequences. The continued senseless killing of civilians, threats and acts of intimidation, as well as the rising number of refugees, are serious violations of the human rights of civilians. We call on all parties to put an end to these violations and to avoid a further escalation of hostilities.

South Africa voted in favour of resolution 1975 (2011), as it is fully in line with the road map outlined by the African Union, which calls for an end to hostilities, for the protection of civilians, and for the parties to implement the political road map outlined by the High-level Panel. Additionally, the resolution strengthens the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire by allowing it, while impartially implementing its mandate, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and its area of deployment.

We urge the parties to comply with the terms of the resolution just adopted and, through their actions, to work towards a sustainable political solution that takes into account the will of all Ivorians. Continued violence exacerbates instability in Côte d’Ivoire and the West African region as a whole.

Mrs. Viotti (Brazil): Brazil is following with great concern the deterioration of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire. The escalation of violence throughout the country and the increase in human rights violations are unacceptable results of a protracted dispute. We support the sending of a clear message from the Security Council that all violence should immediately stop.

Brazil strongly condemns all violence against civilians, regardless of its origin. We urge all Ivorians to exercise restraint. The authority of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) must be respected by all parties. Its personnel should be able to fulfil UNOCI’s mandate free of threat, attack and restriction of movement. While implementing its mandate to protect civilians, UNOCI must exercise caution and impartiality so as not to become party to the conflict.

Brazil continues to strongly support a political process that promotes a negotiated settlement to the crisis while upholding the will of the Ivorian people, as reflected in the recent elections. The efforts of the African Union and other regional actors in this regard deserve our strong support. In that sense, we are encouraged by the inclusion in resolution 1975 (2011), adopted today, of provisions to emphasize the need to pursue a political solution that preserves democracy and peace in Côte d’Ivoire and promotes lasting reconciliation among all Ivorians. More than ever, preventing Côte d’Ivoire from relapsing into conflict should be the Council’s utmost priority.

Mr. Messone (Gabon) (spoke in French): I thank the delegations of France and Nigeria for having submitted resolution 1975 (2011).

Gabon has always sought a peaceful solution to the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. I recall that, following the elections of 28 November 2010, Gabon aligned itself with the position of the international community, the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States recognizing Mr. Alassane Ouattara as President of Côte d’Ivoire. During the post-electoral crisis, Gabon has supported all initiatives to promote dialogue towards achieving a lasting, peaceful solution to the crisis.

The heightened violence and attacks on the civilian population remain of great concern to us. We firmly condemn all such violence, and in particular the use of heavy weaponry against civilians. My delegation recalls that, when resolution 1962 (2010) was adopted in December 2010, Gabon expressed its readiness to endorse firmer measures, including targeted sanctions against those who threatened the peace and national reconciliation process, called the results of the presidential election into question, hindered the work of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, and committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

It was largely with a view to protecting the civilian population that we voted today in favour of resolution 1975 (2011). Gabon is convinced that all the measures contained in the resolution adopted by consensus by the Security Council today will help to better protect civilians and establish conditions conducive to improving the humanitarian situation, which has already created hardships for the countries of the region and threatened their stability.

Lastly, while we welcome the consensus in the Security Council, my delegation would also like to point out that the measures contained in the resolution should bring about a comprehensive political outcome that safeguards peace and democracy, drives the country’s reconstruction and promotes reconciliation among all Ivorians.

Ms. Rice (United States of America): The United States welcomes the unanimous adoption of this strong resolution this afternoon. The Council has met on numerous occasions in an attempt to find a peaceful end to the ongoing crisis. We have strongly condemned the violence. We have urged former President Gbagbo to step aside so that President Ouattara, as the duly elected President of Côte d’Ivoire, can govern. We have stressed our support for the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire and its mandate to protect civilians. And we have adopted targeted sanctions against those most responsible for obstructing peace.

This resolution sends a strong signal that Mr. Gbagbo and his followers should immediately reject violence and respect the will of the Ivorian people. As violence continues, Côte d’Ivoire stands at a crossroads. Mr. Gbagbo and his supporters can continue to cling to power, which will only lead to more innocent civilians being wounded and killed and more diplomatic and economic isolation, or Mr. Gbagbo and his followers can finally reject violence and respect the will of the Ivorian people. If that path is chosen, Ivorians can reclaim their country and rebuild the vibrant economy that was once admired by all of Africa.

The United States urges the Security Council to support and work with President Ouattara in his efforts to create a peaceful and prosperous future for all Ivorians — a future based on inclusive governance, reunification and reconciliation. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and to avoid violence against civilians. Now is the time for all Ivorians to embrace the path of peace and to unite in rebuilding Côte d’Ivoire so that future generations can enjoy the stability and prosperity that all Ivorians deserve.

Mr. Berger (Germany): Germany also welcomes the unanimous adoption of this resolution, and we would like to thank France and Nigeria for their initiative.

The rapidly deteriorating security situation in Côte d’Ivoire is highly alarming. We are deeply concerned about reports of increased fighting and violence against civilians, as well as about armament and recruitment, including of mercenaries. Côte d’Ivoire is on the brink of a full-scale civil war. By adopting this resolution today, the Council has demonstrated that it is ready to act in the face of the deteriorating security situation on the ground.

With this resolution the Council sends a strong and urgent signal to Laurent Gbagbo and his entourage that the time to step aside has come, in order to prevent further violence and to enable the start of a political process that should result in peace, reconciliation and democracy in the country. Germany fully supports this resolution, which urges all parties to show the utmost restraint and to prevent a relapse into civil war.

We commend the work of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire. We encourage the peacekeeping mission to make full use of its mandate, provided by the Security Council to ensure, within its capabilities, the protection of civilians under imminent threat of physical violence. We are very concerned about increasing attacks and violence, committed not only against civilians but also against United Nations personnel. Those who commit such acts must be brought to national and international justice, including, where applicable, to the International Criminal Court.

Today’s resolution should not be seen as substituting for a political process. We strongly welcome the efforts undertaken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to seek a political resolution of the crisis in concert with the Security Council. We encourage the African Union and ECOWAS to redouble their efforts to find a lasting political solution.

We are deeply concerned about continued human rights violations and the dire humanitarian situation for displaced persons and refugees in Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring States, in particular in Liberia. We look forward to the report of the independent international commission of inquiry to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, as well as to reports on the humanitarian situation.

Mr. Osorio (Colombia) (spoke in Spanish): The increasing deterioration of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire is alarming, as is the contemptuous manner in which Mr. Gbagbo has ignored the calls by the United Nations and regional bodies in Africa. We are concerned about the ongoing violations of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the civilian population, including women and children. That merits our unreserved condemnation — which is why we reiterate the fundamental responsibility of Côte d’Ivoire to protect all people on its territory. We hope that the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire will be able, in an atmosphere of impartiality, to contribute to protecting the civilian population and its rights.

Colombia believes that by adopting this resolution the Council is categorically reiterating its determination to hold responsible those who hinder the peace and reconciliation process and incite hatred and violence. We therefore voted in its favour. The sanctions against the individuals designated by the Council should be carried out, with the international community called upon to ensure their full and effective implementation.

My delegation would like to underscore the urgency of immediately putting an end to this violence. We are convinced of the need to find a political solution to the crisis in order to respect the will of the people of Côte d’Ivoire and promote peace and reconciliation among all Ivorians.

We reiterate that a solution to the crisis requires acknowledging the results of the November 2010 elections. My delegation rejects Mr. Gbagbo’s decision to ignore the proposal for a political solution put forward by the African Union High-Level Panel. We urge him to give up power immediately.

Mr. Parham (United Kingdom): This unanimous resolution sends an important message about the firm resolve of the international community to see a swift resolution to the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. It responds to an urgent situation. Events are moving fast on the ground. The security situation continues to deteriorate. And the position of civilians is of increasing concern. I would like to highlight four main points in the resolution.

First, it condemns the violence in Côte d’Ivoire and calls for the implementation of a political solution.

Secondly, it explicitly calls for Mr. Gbagbo to step aside to enable such a solution and calls for all Ivorian State institutions, including the Defence and Security Forces of Côte d’Ivoire, to yield to the authority vested by the Ivorian people in President Ouattara.

Thirdly, it specifically targets Mr. Gbagbo and those close to him for financial sanctions and travel bans. Such measures are in support of the African Union’s efforts to find a political solution, and respond to the calls made to the Security Council by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its communiqué of 24 March. The United Kingdom supports the continued efforts of the African Union and ECOWAS to implement a peaceful transfer of power and to avoid violence.

Fourthly, the resolution also reinforces action to protect civilians. It does not alter the robust mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), under which the Operation is already authorized to use all necessary means to protect civilians, but it does reaffirm UNOCI’s role in protecting civilians and preventing the use of heavy weapons against civilians. It also underlines the importance of the protection of civilians by all parties.

The President (spoke in Chinese): I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the Permanent Representative of China.

China voted in favour of resolution 1975 (2011), which was just adopted. China is seriously concerned at the continuing deterioration in the security situation in Côte d’Ivoire. We call on all Ivorian parties to immediately cease all violence and armed confrontations, and to seek to settle their differences through dialogue and consultations.

We believe that the crisis caused by the elections in Côte d’Ivoire must be addressed through peaceful means. We appreciate and support the efforts made by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States to find a political settlement to the crisis. We call on all Ivorian parties to show active and comprehensive cooperation.

China’s position regarding the International Criminal Court remains unchanged.

China always believes that United Nations peacekeeping operations should strictly abide by the principle of neutrality. We hope that the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire will fulfil its mandate in a strict and comprehensive manner, help to peacefully settle the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire and avoid becoming a party to the conflict.

I now resume my functions as President of the Council.

I give the floor to the representative of Côte d’Ivoire.

Mr. Bamba (Côte d’Ivoire) (spoke in French): The protection of the civilian population in Côte d’Ivoire, which is living under threat, compounded by a deteriorating humanitarian situation marked by massive numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, remains a matter of the greatest concern to the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, His Excellency Mr. Alassane Ouattara, and his Government. The international community, like the Ivorian Government, cannot remain silent and impassive. We must find the means to protect the civilian population and to deliver humanitarian relief and assistance to the victims.

The African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have called for the strengthening of the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the imposition of targeted sanctions against the outgoing President — who refuses to peacefully give up power — and his entourage. Subsequently, in my most recent statement to the Security Council (see S/PV.6506), my delegation sought the adoption of robust deterrent measures to prevent the use of violence against innocent civilians and restore lasting peace and security in Côte d’Ivoire

The Security Council has just provided a strong response to our concerns by adopting resolution 1975 (2011), which encompasses a number of objectives. The first is to strengthen the mandate of UNOCI in terms of the protection of civilians. The second is to impose sanctions against Ivorian individuals who refuse to recognize the polling results and also incite hatred and violence. The third is to prevent the use of heavy weapons against the civilian population. The fourth pertains to a potential referral of the situation to international legal institutions, such as the International Criminal Court, with a view to tracking down the perpetrators of the massive human rights violations in Côte d’Ivoire. The fifth is a demand for the departure of Mr. Gbagbo. Finally, the sixth is the effective installation of the legitimate President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, in full exercise of his functions.

In that regard, my Government would like to pay tribute to the Security Council for its sense of responsibility. Indeed, in taking such measures, which first and foremost strengthen the operational capacity of UNOCI, the Council has demonstrated its sensitivity to the distress calls of the civilian population living in Côte d’Ivoire and currently under threat.

My Government recognizes and once again wishes to pay tribute to the outstanding work of UNOCI. We reaffirm that we intend to spare no effort to ensure that UNOCI fulfils its mandate under the best possible conditions. Furthermore, my delegation reaffirms the consent of the legitimate Government of Côte d’Ivoire to authorize the presence of UNOCI in Ivorian territory. That is why my Government condemns any attack, regardless of its nature, against UNOCI. We also wish to provide assurances that concrete measures will be taken to bring to justice any individual — Ivorian or not — found guilty of attacking not only UNOCI and its personnel, but also any individual residing in the territory of Côte d’Ivoire.

In that connection, my delegation would like to say here that the Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire were not in any way involved in the shots fired at a UNOCI helicopter.

Incidents of post-election violence, which had claimed 860 lives as of 23 March according to the figures provided by the medical and social unit of the Rally of Houphouëtistes for Democracy and Peace, have disfigured our beautiful country. Today, it is imperative to stop the cycle of violence in Côte d’Ivoire and declare an end to impunity. Ivorians wish to re-establish peace and respect for human life. The very painful sacrifices by our brave civilian population during this post-electoral crisis are but a reflection of their deep yearning for the emergence of democracy, the exercise of their fundamental rights and respect for human rights in Ivorian society. That is our priority. In the same vein, during his address to the nation on 15 March, President Alassane Ouattara appealed to all Ivorians for reconciliation and the reconstruction of Côte d’Ivoire in peace and with dialogue, love and fraternity.

While awaiting the establishment of a Government of national unity, whose most important tasks will be national reconciliation and the reform of the defence sector, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire has just set up a presidential emergency programme funded by $97 million. The programme’s goal is to meet, as rapidly as possible, the most pressing needs of the population stemming from the post-electoral crisis. The programme is focused on the distribution of drinking water, education, electricity and combating unhealthy living conditions.

As a fervent disciple of the late former President Félix Houphouët Boigny, President Alassane Ouattara is a man of peace and dialogue. He wishes to unite all of Côte d’Ivoire’s daughters and sons so that they can live together, and together rebuild their country. My delegation would therefore like to reaffirm here the desire of President Ouattara to cooperate fully and with goodwill with the United Nations, the African Union and ECOWAS in the framework of any process of constructive dialogue aimed at restoring lasting peace and security in Côte d’Ivoire.

The President (spoke in Chinese): There are no further speakers inscribed on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.

The meeting rose at 5.50 p.m.