[Human Rights] HRC/Special Session Côte d’Ivoire
Austria fully aligns itself with the statement made by Belgium on behalf of the European Union.
In our national capacity, we share the concerns uttered by other delegations about the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Cote d’Ivoire. We are deeply worried about reports of arbitrary executions, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population. Abducted persons are reportedly taken by force to illegal places of detention where they are held incommunicado and without charge. Some have been found dead in questionable circumstances.
We condemn interferences with non-governmental media and abuse of governmental media channels for incitement to hatred. Immediate steps must be taken to allow equitable access to the media.
Austria calls on all parties to firmly renounce violence and intimidation as a means to solve the situation and to refrain from any action that could jeopardize peace in the country and escalate the situation further. We would like to join the High Commissioner in calling for an investigation as all perpetrators of human rights violations must be held accountable.
We commend the Security Council for extending the presence of UNOCI in the country until the 30th of June 2011. As a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Austria attaches great importance to UNOCI’s strong mandate to protect civilians in Cote d’Ivoire and applauds the additional deployment of peacekeepers foreseen in UNSC Resolution 1962. We are unsettled about reports of intimidations, incitement over the media and physical attacks against UN personnel and call for their immediate end.
We also commend the African Union and ECOWAS for their swift and unequivocal condemnation of attempts to go against the freely expressed will of the Ivorian people.
Finally, allow me to express our appreciation of this special session as a sign of the vitality and relevance of the Council. This Council has the mandate and the duty to respond promptly to human rights emergencies – a mandate it has managed to live up to with this session.
I thank you.