The Ivorian government agreed on August 9th on a 10 Point Code of Ethics to deal with the national affairs. Here is the translation. My analysis after the text.
1 – The meaning of the State and the love of the homeland: each member of the Government cultivates the values underpinning the Ivorian Republic : Union, Discipline and Labour. He undertakes, in his speeches, actions and behavior, to honor the country and to act in accordance with the principles of our motto. The love of the Nation must prevail over specific regional, ethnic, political and religious consideration.
2 – Respect for dignity and human life: each member of the Government regards life as sacred. So he refrains from all acts and words likely to harm dignity or any human life.
3 – Primacy of the public interest : any decision, action or task must be conducted in the perspective of public interest, according to the requirements and standards of rigor and quality justified by the resources available. Aware of the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of our country, each member of the Government must ensure at his own level and within the department which he is responsible of to take into account only the public interest.
4 – Solidarity and cohesion: all decisions and all actions of the Government shall be governed by the principles of collegiality and solidarity. They engage each member in both their development and in their implementation. Members of the Government are subject to the obligations of discretion and confidentiality that govern the work of government. The duty of confidentiality applies to all debates within all government meetings and correspondence relating thereto.
5 – Good Governance: Each member of the Government is committed to cultivate excellence and to promote good governance practices within his ministry and structures under its authority. Strict compliance with laws and regulations of the Republic is a necessity of national interest on which depend both the moral recovery of our country and its comprehensive and sustainable development. In accordance to the right to information of the sovereign people, each member of the Government also undertakes to report on actions of his department and on the results attributable to him.
6 – Responsibility: Each member of the Government is solely responsible for his ministry and is committed, in all conscience, to perform his duties and to execute any mission in the best interests of the nation. Members of the Government have an obligation of result. They assume the success or failure of their missions and actions.
7 – The Integrity and Honesty: As a model for his fellow citizens, each member of the Government is committed at any time and anywhere to the moral and ethical values to lead a moral society in Cote d’Ivoire: righteousness, integrity, probity and incorruptibility.
8 – Justice and Equity: members of the Government will work in a spirit of justice, fairness and balance between them, in their respective departments and in their relationships with stakeholders. Equity must be promoted in public practices.
9 – Ongoing Dialogue and Availability: Each member of the Government must focus as a priority on carrying out his duties and being fully available for this purpose. He must also maintain an ongoing dialogue on objective-based republican ideas with other members of the Government, as well as with the social and economical actors.
10 – Civility, courtesy and restraint: each member of the Government undertakes, in his words and behavior, respect for rules of courtesy and moderation which are the basic requirements of cohesion within any group, any organization or any company.
While his government is under heavy pressure for justice against the perpetrators of human rights abuses, Ouattara is surely trying to get some time and reassure Ivorians and international stakeholders. This text does not create any concrete obligations for members of the government, but the time and effort put into it are symbolic of their willingness for reconciliation and change in the daily running of the country.
But some might also see a political message, a sign of unity ahead of the legislative elections?