Ambassador McCulley’s Remarks Signing Ceremony for the Third Amendment of the Limited Scope Grant Agreement between the United States Government

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

His Excellency, the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Director of Cabinet, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Representative of the Ministry of Finance and Economy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as his collaborators at the Ministry, as well as the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, for their continued cooperation with the United States Government, as represented by the continuation of this bilateral agreement.  This ceremony symbolizes the strong continued partnership between the United States and Côte d’Ivoire, and underlines our shared commitment to strengthening Côte d’Ivoire’s democratic institutions to increase citizen confidence and participation.

As part of this shared commitment, the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided technical assistance, infrastructure, and equipment to the National Assembly and justice sector since 2011, with a bilateral engagement of $28,941,119 (CFA 13,747, 031, 525).  Our Legislative Strengthening Project supports the National Assembly to develop its legislative, representational, and oversight capacities, with an innovative program of engagement between a select group of deputies and their constituencies within target communes to improve service delivery.

In partnership with the Ministry of Justice, the U.S. Government’s support to the justice sector will improve the delivery of judicial services in Côte d’Ivoire, with a particular emphasis on justice administration, accountability, and access to justice especially for vulnerable groups such as women, children, and youth.  Components of this project include training court police, gendarmes, judges, and court staff to improve case management, allowing justice to be served more expeditiously and transparently, and increasing confidence in the overall judicial process. A particularly exciting part of this program includes outreach to those who traditionally have faced more barriers in accessing judicial services, educating them on the services available to them and bringing these much needed legal and justice services closer to home.

The United States is pleased with its partnership with H.E. President Alassane Ouattara and his government, and we look forward to working together to advance our shared goals of regional peace and security, good governance, accountability, transparency and increased commercial exchanges.  The agreement we are signing today demonstrates the commitment of my government to remaining engaged alongside our Ivoirian partners, and Mr. Minister, thank you for hosting us as we celebrate this occasion.

Thank you for your kind attention.