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Ivorian Election Process Now On Track, UN Told

Ivorian Election Process Now On Track, General Assembly Told

New York, Sep 29 2008 9:10PM

Much-delayed presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire are on track to be a success now that the penultimate phase of the lead-up process – the identification and registration of voters – has begun, the country’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly today.

Youssouf Bakayoko, speaking before the annual General Debate at the Assembly, said his country was determined to hold free, open and transparent polls and the start of voter registration was proof of that commitment.

Identification of Ivorians, and thus determining their eligibility for voting, has been one of the key points of contention in the West African country since it became divided in 2002 between the Government-controlled south and the rebel-held north.

The Foreign Minister also highlighted the role of the UN in helping to foster a peace deal last year to reconcile the Government and the rebel Forces Nouvelles.

Turning to UN reform, Mr. Bakayoko called for enlargement of the Security Council to reflect the current realities of the world and for a globalization that also benefits developing countries.

“It would be an illusion to think that only market forces can promote development in the poorest states,” he added. “Only equitable international trade can contribute to the expansion of under-developed economies.”

Togo’s Foreign Minister Kofi Esaw, speaking on Saturday before the General Debate, said the recent failure of the so-called Doha round of international trade liberalization talks has jeopardized efforts to achieve the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 as scheduled.

If the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, is to achieve those Goals, wealthier countries must make good on their pledges to increase aid and official development assistance (OODA) to poorer States.

ENDS

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