Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 19th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Côte d’Ivoire
Statement by Australia
29 April 2014
The Government of Australia commends the Government of Côte d’Ivoire on its constructive engagement with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire and other UN mechanisms. We welcome the conformity of the National Human Rights Commission with the Paris Principles and welcome Côte d’Ivoire’s progress in strengthening democratic institutions.
Australia also welcomes Côte d’Ivoire’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in February 2013. We note that justice is an essential element of genuine reconciliation. Australia recommends that Côte d’Ivoire continue to prioritise the investigation and prosecution of serious international crimes regardless of political affiliation and cooperate with the International Criminal Court in this regard.
Australia notes in turn the centrality of genuine reconciliation to lasting peace and security in Côte d’Ivoire. Australia recommends strengthening efforts to ensure the participation of all political parties, civil society organisations and community leaders in the work of the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Improved human rights observance is inextricably linked to the security situation in Côte d’Ivoire. We acknowledge the significant work undertaken by the Government in the areas of Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR). Australia recommends that Côte d’Ivoire redouble its efforts towards the reintegration of all former combatants.
Australia remains deeply concerned by the prevalence of sexual violence in Côte d’Ivoire. Australia recommends that greater resources be allocated to combating sexual violence and to prosecuting perpetrators. The Australian Government is pleased to be contributing to the reduction of violence against women in the Western region of Guemon through the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding.