Madame President, the United States voted in favor of this resolution because we fully support the renewal of these sanctions and the mandate of the UN's Group of Experts – both of which constitute an important part of the Council’s effort to support peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire.
We welcome the progress Côte d’Ivoire has made under the leadership of President Ouattara and his government. We also applaud the Ivoirian Government's achievement of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme’s minimum requirements, thereby allowing for the lifting of the embargo on the import of rough diamonds originating in Cote d'Ivoire.
Madame President, despite this progress, however, we note that the security situation in Côte d’Ivoire remains challenging as the country moves into its 2015 electoral cycle. This Council has expressed repeatedly the importance of significant security sector reform, effective demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, meaningful reconciliation, and equitable justice for crimes committed during the crisis.
In light of these challenges, the United States had advocated for a more gradual approach to adjusting the arms embargo. We recognize the Government of Côte d’Ivoire’s need to build capable and professional security forces. We were concerned, however, by the findings in the Group of Experts report regarding inconsistent compliance with existing arms embargo procedures. We therefore urge Côte d’Ivoire to tighten its control over arms and ammunition and to continue the important work of security sector reform.
We urge the Council to closely monitor developments on the ground. If the arms embargo modifications in this resolution have any negative repercussions on stability in Cote d'Ivoire, then the Council should be prepared to take appropriate action.
Madame President, Côte d’Ivoire is an important partner of the United States. We look forward to continuing to work with the government and people of Côte d’Ivoire to further the country’s peace, stability, and prosperity.
I thank you.
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