Thirtieth-seventh progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Ivory Coast
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Peace Processes
Security Council Agenda Geographical Topic: 
Cote d’Ivoire
Document PDF: 

Thirtieth-seventh progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).

Period of Time and Topic: This report provides a midterm update on major developments and the implementation of Security Council resolution 2226 (2015) and recommendations for the military drawdown by 31 March 2015 referred to in the S/2014/342 report.


The report does not mention any Women, Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions, and includes only references components of the WPS agenda. This is despite UNOCI’s mandating document, resolution 2226 (2015), calling for the development of the Côte d’Ivoire National Action Plan (NAP) on resolution 1325 (2000),[1] and supporting the protection of women through gender training and the deployment of gender experts in accordance with resolutions 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), and 2106 (2013).[2] Of the ten UNOCI mandate components, five included sex and age disaggregated data (SADD), and they are: political support; disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration programme (DDR) and collection of weapons; reconstitution and reform of security institutions; support for compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law; and, protection of UN personnel and force structure. However, only political support, support for compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law, and the observations section, provided gender analysis beyond statistic reporting. Women’s participation concerns are raised more often than protection issues, although this might be due to the nature of post-conflict peacebuilding and not necessarily due to reporting deficiencies. Yet this quantifiable emphasis on participation concerns represents a trend in reporting, as it is consistent with the previous report on UNOCI (S/2015/320).

Protection of Civilians

This section analyses UNOCI’s mandate to support Ivorian authorities in protecting civilians from physical violence. Recognising the high-risk surrounding the electoral process and the propensity for violence, UNOCI conducted training for Ivorian security and UN personnel to strengthen civilian protection. The report could have provided a link to the establishment of women’s voter rooms as a protection issue. It also should have included SADD for the 282 personnel trained for civilian protection.[3]

Political Support

This section analyses UNOCI’s mandate to support Ivorian authorities in conducting election and political process. The report makes a positive number of inclusions on women’s participation in the electoral process. The Independent Electoral Commission registered 6.3 million voters, for which the report indicated 49 per cent were women, an increase of 10 per cent from 2010.[4] Relatedly, the report makes specific mention of programs that promoted women’s participation in the election, including support for women’s groups and women’s situation rooms.[5] There was SADD provided on the sensitising of 1,203 youths on peaceful elections, for which 118 were women. However, SADD was not provided for the 3,900 individuals involved in 14 intercommunal social cohesion and reconciliation meetings.[6] Impressively, the report acknowledged UNOCI workshops and awareness raising sessions held across the country to promote women’s participation in the election process. This brought together women’s representatives, political leaders, and civil society to facilitate women in all levels of the legislative elections.[7]

DDR and collection of weapons

This section analyses UNOCI’s mandate to support Ivorian authorities, bilateral and international partners in implementing the national DDR program. The report provides SADD on two areas relating to DDR, which are the reporting of 6,105 women among the 69,506 disarmed and demobilised former combatants. And, the inclusion of 421 women among 5,501 former combatants, part of programs organised between 1 May and 1 December.[8] The report also mentions the HIV/AIDS and gender training for former combatants as part of re-socialisation and reinsertion programs.[9] In reporting on the gender training, the report should have investigated this further by discussing the overall goal and gender sensitivity in DDR programs. 

Reconstitution and reform of security institutions

This section analyses UNOCI’s mandate to support Ivorian authorities on implementing the national strategy for security sector reform (SSR). The only reference to the WPS agenda is the SADD provided on the sensitisation of 7,167 persons on weapons collection, for which 2,596 were women.[10] This is concerning given the implications SSR has on women’s lives in post-conflict situations. Despite the Secretary-General (SG) citing the gender imbalance within the security architecture,[11] the report should have examined efforts to promote women’s participation in SSR beyond being attendees to weapons collection programs. The report should have also discussed how UNOCI and the Ivorian security institutions are structured to promote and protect women’s needs.

Support for compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law

This section analyses UNOCI’s mandate to support Ivorian authorities on the promotion and protection of human rights. UNOCI provided SADD on the 101 human rights violations committed between 1 May and 1 December 2015, of which the SG condemned the particular incidents of sexual violence on the “Observations” section.[12] They included: 1 woman and 1 girl of 38 persons who experienced torture and like crimes; the illegal detention of 12 women and 2 girls; and, the forced marriage of 2 girls and the attempted forced marriage of 1 girl.[13] Under the subheading “Sexual violence”, UNOCI documented 98 incidences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), including the imprisonment of 8 women for practicing female-genital mutilation.[14] Under the subheading “HIV/AIDS”, UNOCI reported that: of 1,748 civilian and uniformed personnel who completed HIV awareness workshops, 41 were women; 323 women of 12,148 individuals and former combatants were sensitised regarding HIV/AIDS and sexual violence; 82 women of 1,024 community members and former combatants were part of confidential counselling and testing services; and, 12 women of 45 members of civil society groups took part in UNOCI HIV-AIDS and gender-based violence training.[15]

Impressively, UNOCI referenced the sexual code of conduct signed into operation by 47 commanders for Ivorian soldiers. This would ensure action against perpetrators of sexual violence and uphold international standards and human rights law.[16] Additionally, the report discussed countrywide mapping efforts by the Ministry of Solidarity, Family, Women and Children on preventing SGBV as part of a national strategy. While this is positive, UNOCI should have explicitly linked this to the development of a NAP on WPS, as called for in Security Council resolution 2226 (2015).[17]

Support humanitarian assistance

This section analyses UNOCI’s mandate to facilitate unhindered humanitarian access and delivery of humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations. Despite the existence of 37,951 Ivorian refugees in Liberia, and 21,315 in other West African countries, this subsection was gender blind and provided no SADD. The report should have investigated and discussed efforts by the Ivorian Government, UNOCI and partner organisations to include a gender lens on humanitarian programs, including the disaster risk and reduction strategies. Of particular concern should have been the provision of women specific supplies and services for refugee camps, including sexual and reproductive health services, psychosocial services for SGBV survivors, and the promotion of women’s participation in refugee camp design.

Protection of UN personnel & Force structure

This section analyses UNOCI’s mandate personnel and structure. The report provided SADD on mission personnel to reveal that as of 1 December women represented 1.7 per cent of the 5,412 strong military component, and 12 per cent of the 1,480 strong police component, yet failed to provide SADD for the 5,372 gendarmes and police officers electoral security training.[18] The report cited the zero-tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), and expanded the previous report (S/2015/320) on this policy and detailed the establishment of a specialised task force on the prevention of SEA, and a mechanism for community-based reporting to improve investigations.[19] This is a notable improvement in reporting and should be continued in the future.

Public information & Monitoring of arms embargo & Address remaining security threats and border-related challenges

These sections of the report were gender blind and provided no SADD. Women’s full and equal participation in the media, security forces addressing security threats, and monitoring the arms embargo should have been investigated by UNOCI and reported on. Equally, women’s protection concerns within these mission areas should have also been analysed.

Ideal asks for WPS transformation

UNOCI should have been more comprehensive in applying a gender lens, and done so across all reporting themes, accompanied with SADD as a minimum. Future reports should then provide analysis of the gender implications of the mission’s specific context. While there was a slight imbalance towards women’s participation issues, this was only quantitative. Future reports must not seek to provide perceived balance with superficial add-ons, for example, the “…Peacebuilding Fund also provided support for the participation of youth and women’s groups”.[20] This could have been more specific, in terms of why and how the Peacebuilding fund ‘supported’ women’s groups. Apart from SADD, references to women’s protection and participation concerns should always be included based on qualitative value. And, inclusions must go beyond the reporting of facts, and provide context-based analysis. UNOCI should implement the WPS components within the mandate more effectively and comprehensively. Future reports should also better reflect gaps between the mandate and operations.


[1] S/RES/2226 (2015) PP. 14

[2] S/RES/2226 (2015) OPs. 19(g)

[3] S/2015/940 para. 38

[4] S/2015/940 para. 8

[5] S/2015/940 paras. 22, 24

[6] S/2015/940 para. 30

[7] S/2015/940 para. 58

[8] S/2015/940 para. 46

[9] S/2015/940 para. 47

[10] S/2015/940 para. 45

[11] S/2015/940 para. 83

[12] S/2015/940 para. 81

[13] S/2015/940 paras. 52, 53

[14] S/2015/940 para. 55

[15] S/2015/940 para. 59

[16] S/2015/940 para. 56

[17] S/RES/2226 (2015) PP 14

[18] S/2015/940 paras. 67, 71, 72

[19] S/2015/940 para. 73

[20] S/2015/940 para. 22