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Cablegate: Un Secgen Discusses Regional, Global Issues with Unsc

VZCZCXRO2001
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHOU #0404/01 1331527
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121527Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3674
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0642

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OUAGADOUGOU 000404

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

FOR AF/W EMILY PLUMB, JASON HUTCHISON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PARM EAID ECON UNSC SENV ZI IV UV
SUBJECT: UN SECGEN DISCUSSES REGIONAL, GLOBAL ISSUES WITH UNSC
NON-PERMANENT MEMBER BURKINA FASO

OUAGADOUGO 00000404 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) SUMMARY: On April 22-24, U.N. Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki
Moon visited Burkina Faso as part of a regional tour including
Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and Liberia. With President Compaore, the
Secretary General discussed:

-- Cote d'Ivoire peace process (praising Compaore's leadership),
-- Regional security (Mali, Niger, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Central
African Republic; arms and drugs trafficking),
-- Zimbabwe (credibility of African leaders at stake); -- Rising
living costs (global problem with no quick fixes); and,
-- Climate change (which could destabilize countries like Burkina
Faso e.g. because of desertification).

Ban Ki Moon's spouse met with Burkina Faso's first lady to discuss
development assistance to women and children. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) During an April 22-24 visit to Ouagadougou, UNSG Ban Ki
Moon discussed a variety of regional and global issues with Burkina
Faso President Blaise Compaore. Ban Ki Moon visited Ouagadougou
because Burkina Faso has a non-permanent seat on the UN Security
Council for 2008-2009, and because of President Compaore's position
as current President of the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS), and Facilitator of the Ouagadougou Political Accord
(OPA) for Cote d'Ivoire. Ban Ki Moon raised with Compaore, and
separately with Prime Minister Tertius Zongo, the Millennium
Development Goals, poverty reduction, good governance, and the
following regional and global issues:

Cote d'Ivoire Peace Process
---------------------------
3. (SBU) Ban Ki Moon publicly lauded Compaore's role as OPA
Facilitator of the Cote d'Ivoire peace process. While UNSG was
optimistic about the process because of Compaore's involvement, he
noted the urgent need for additional resources to finance
Presidential elections set for November 30. MOFA Cabinet Director
Vincent Zakane told PAO and PolOff April 28 that there had already
been pledges from France, China, and 22 other nations, but that the
GOCI could not bear the entire costs of holding elections, and thus
was seeking more donor aid.

4. (SBU) The Cote d'Ivoire Government has also incurred
administrative costs and issues such as those associated with the
identification process that will need to be completed before the
elections, Zakane added. In this regard, U.N Country Representative
Babacar Cisse told Ambassador April 29 that the French operator,
SAGEM, had asked Cote d'Ivoire for about 60 million USD and nine
months to produce ID and voter registration cards -- a figure and
timeframe that Cisse thought were high. Cisse recalled that in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country with three times the
population of Cote d'Ivoire, this process had only cost the
government USD 50 million dollars, using a different company.

Regional Security in West Africa, Sudan
---------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Compaore raised with Ban Ki Moon the Tuareg situations in
Mali and Niger, as well as political tensions in Guinea, Guinea
Bissau, and the Central African Republic, Zakane said. Compaore and
the UNSG noted an increase in arms and drug trafficking in the
region. They called for increased regional cooperation to address
this problem, which is being exacerbated by Libya and Algeria, who
sell arms to opposing rebellion groups. Finally, UNSG noted with
satisfaction Burkina's participation in UN peacekeeping operations
on the African continent.

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Hurts Credibility of African Leaders
--------------------------------------------- --------

6. (SBU) Ban Ki Moon also discussed the elections in Zimbabwe by
phone on April 22 with A.U. chairperson Professor Alpha Konare,
Cisse told Ambassador. UNSG told Compaore that, although Zimbabwe
has nothing to do with West Africa, the elections there would affect
the entire continent. Because of President Mugabe's refusal to
recognize the results of the first round of Presidential elections,
the credibility of African leaders was at stake. Compaore responded
with concern that the involvement of other southern African leaders,
such as South African President Thabo Mbeki, had only contributed to
the problem. Compaore suggested instead that the issue be brought
before the African Union's Peace and Security Commission.

The Rising Cost of Living: No Quick Regional Fixes
--------------------------------------------- -----

OUAGADOUGO 00000404 002.4 OF 002

7. (U) Both UNSG and Compaore agreed that current skyrocketing
prices of basic food goods and gasoline, along with a decrease in
global cotton prices, were a poor combination for Burkina Faso and
other countries in the region. The crisis has the potential to
destabilize many nations, and in particular to undermine Burkina
Faso's efforts to combat poverty and promote development. Ban Ki
Moon assured his Burkinabe interlocutors of the UN's assistance in
addressing these challenges, adding, however, that populations must
realize that the problem was global and not local. Its solution
must also be global and durable, Ban Ki Moon said, not the product
of quick-fixes from individual governments such as tax breaks, which
can deplete needed resources for social services. In June, the UNSG
will meet in Rome at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) to discuss these issues with a task force composed of FAO,
IMF, the European Economic Community, and others.

Climate Change: Destabilizing Burkina Faso?
-------------------------------------------

8. (U) UNSG and Compaore also shared concerns about the negative
impact of climate change on the environment. Both stressed that the
climate change had exacerbated drought and desertification and
caused human suffering. Additionally, it had seriously affected
agricultural production in Burkina Faso. Ban Ki Moon disclosed that
this situation could have destabilizing affects on countries like
Burkina Faso. The two discussed the need for increasing financing
for research and development, and finding alternative sources of
energy.

Madame Ban Ki Moon Met with Burkina's First Lady
--------------------------------------------- ---

9. (U) While her husband was busy meeting with Burkinabe senior
authorities, Madame Yoo Ban Soon Taek met with first lady Madame
Chantal Compaore. Madame Compaore briefed her guest on the social
and economic conditions of women and children in Burkina Faso.
(Note. Burkina Faso's widespread illiteracy, negative social and
cultural attitudes towards women, and abject poverty are impediments
to the emergence of female political and economic leadership. End
Note). Madame Yoo Ban Soon Taek visited a handicraft training
center for women in Ouagadougou to see some of Burkina's efforts to
promote women and children. Following their meeting, Madame Yoo Ban
Soon Taek promised to look at the possibility to have partnership
with the Suka Foundation for women and children that Madame Compaore
has been running.

JACKSON

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