Deputy Special Representative Biha concludes a three-day visit to Abidjan
Dakar, 15 September 2023 - The Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Ms Giovanie Biha, concluded a three-day visit to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
The objective of the visit was to participate in the launch of the Integrated Border Stability Mechanism (IBSM) for West Africa, jointly organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) to strengthen border governance and security in areas strategic to regional stability.
In her remarks at the inaugural meeting, held on September 13, Ms. Giovanie Biha stressed the importance of the role of all actors in ensuring effective border governance. "It is worth noting that the African Union's Integrated Border Governance Strategy recognizes the primary responsibility of member states for effective border governance. We, the partners, have an essential responsibility to accompany and support them in taking ownership of this mechanism to ensure its sustainability and effectiveness", she affirmed.
During her visit, the Deputy Special Representative also held a series of meetings with Ivorian authorities and regional partners.
Accompanied by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Côte d'Ivoire, Philippe Poinsot, Ms. Biha met the Minister of the Interior and Security, Diomande Vagondo; the Minister Delegate to the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Diaspora, Léon Kacou Adom; the Minister of Reconciliation and National Cohesion, Kouadio Konan Bertin, and the Mediator of the Republic, Mr. Adama Toungara. Ms Biha also met with the Representative of the Mano River Union, Angui Assoikon, and the United Nations country team.
In her various meetings, the Deputy Special Representative discussed various topics relating to the national and sub-regional situation, and the need to coordinate efforts to strengthen peace and security.
She reiterated to her interlocutors the willingness of UNOWAS and its Head, the Special Representative, Leonardo Santos Simão, to support Côte d'Ivoire in its tireless efforts to consolidate peace and democracy.