The United Nations Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is widely being praised as a success story—after 13 years, the peacekeeping mission will be closing in June 2017 and leaving behind a stable and prosperous country. With the closing of the mission, and as Cote d’Ivoire launches its campaign for a non-permanent member seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2018-2019 period, the Permanent Mission of Cote d’Ivoire to the UN and IPI co-organized a high-level panel event on April 11, 2017, “Côte d’Ivoire, a Successful Case of Crisis Management: a Look Back at the Experience and Lessons Learned.”
Marcel Amon-Tanoh, Cote d’Ivoire Minister of Foreign Affairs, briefed the audience on the political and social measures implemented by the government to address the root causes of the conflict and build social cohesion.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping operations, detailed UNOCI’s evolving mandate and the challenges it had to face.
Finally, Elisabeth Lindenmayer, Director of Columbia’s International Organization and UN studies program, offered analysis of the root causes of the conflict and on the regional and international cooperation put in place to address the situation.
The UN managed to demonstrate flexibility and innovation in UNOCI’s mandate through an evolving mandate, the establishment of a UN election certification mandate, and its resort to various crisis management instruments. As the United Nations is seeking to reform its peace operations, UNOCI offers numerous lessons to be learned in terms of crisis management and exit strategies. However, as challenges remain to national reconciliation, the upcoming 2020 presidential elections will certainly prove as a test for the country’s resilience and ability to sustain peace.
Youssef Mahmoud, IPI Senior Advisor, moderated this high-level panel event.