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Statement by Ambassador Byrne Nason at the UNSC Briefing on the Situation in Libya

Thank you very much indeed Mr President,

I would to thank Special Envoy Kubiš for his briefing, as well as Ambassador Tirumurti for his update regarding the 1970 Committee. I want to thank you Dr. BenSaad, for your really heartfelt messages earlier. Your appetite to partipate in free and fair democratic elections was well understood in this room. I want to say that we have an obligation here to help Libya to deliver on that aspiration, as you asked us to do.


As this is going to be the final briefing by Mr. Kubiš to the Council in his capacity as Special Envoy on Libya, I want like to thank him sincerely for his dedicated service and I also want to welcome our friend and colleague Ambassador Tahar M. El Sonni to our meeting here today.


Mr. President,


We meet today precisely one month from Libya’s scheduled presidential and parliamentary elections, as stipulated by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum Roadmap and Resolutions of this very Council. These elections mark a crucial stage in the work of securing a peaceful, stable and prosperous future for all Libyans. To the people of Libya – we say, the future of Libya is in your hands, as it should be, and we assure you that the international community continues to support you on the path to peace. Ireland for our part will certainly keep faith with that.


We welcome the recent successful Conference convened in Paris and co-hosted by France and Libya, with Germany, Italy and the United Nations. The outcome was clear: the Libyan authorities and the international community are committed to the holding of free and fair elections on the 24th of December.


Mr. President,


We know that the electoral process must be Libyan-led and Libyan-owned. We commend the work of the High National Elections Commission, and we welcome progress achieved to date. Ensuring that Presidential and Parliamentary elections take place simultaneously will be key to preserving the integrity of this process. 


We believe that it is incumbent on the authorities in Libya to meet the challenge of ensuring an inclusive and consultative electoral process with the wide acceptance of all Libyan stakeholders in a spirit of cooperation, inclusivity, and national unity. It is also incumbent on all Libyan stakeholders to foster mutual trust and build consensus at this really sensitive juncture, including through an inclusive legal framework


The role of regional and international observers will of course be crucial.


Mr. President,


A Libyan-owned process must also mean one owned by Libyan women. I echo the remarks of Dr BenSaad earlier on this critical issue. The meaningful participation of women, as well as young people in these elections is fundamentally important to the goal of achieving inclusive, sustainable peace in Libya. As elections draw near, we also call on the Libyan authorities to guarantee a free, safe and independent civic space for all.


Dr Bensad reminded us that today we are on the eve of ‘oranging’ the world, the interational day of the elimination of violence against women. I want to emphasise how critical it is that women in Libya, all women, are spared the gender based violence they face. It can end and it must be prevented.


Mr. President,


Ireland welcomes progress made to date in implementing the provisions of the October Ceasefire Agreement, and we reiterate our call to fulfil all remaining provisions. The Libyan Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism is vital to ensuring that the hard-won gains of the Agreement are preserved. Ireland was encouraged by the deployment of the first UN ceasefire monitors in October, a positive and long-awaited step. It is now critical that a gender perspective also be streamlined into the work of the monitoring mechanism and that it informs the important work going forward.


Mr. President,


The continued presence of foreign fighters, mercenaries, and forces poses a grave threat to Libya’s fragile peace and stability and risks furthering insecurity in the region. Everyone at this table knows that is true.


I welcome therefore the adoption last month of an Action Plan by the Committee of Ten, and the subsequent announcement which will see the plan operationalised through departures under a UN-supervised DDR process in the coming weeks. We want to see all efforts made to sustain this momentum and ensure full implementation of the Action Plan, while also taking into account the needs and concerns of Libya’s neighbours.


Finally, Mr. President,


With all eyes now on Libya’s political and military transition we must not lose sight of the  human rights situation. The most recent report of the Independent Fact Finding Mission on Libya was deeply concerning. The ill-treatment of vulnerable individuals, such as migrants in detention, is quite simply abhorrent, and in that regard, we welcome the addition of an individual to the sanctions list in October.


National peace and reconciliation in Libya will require that the human rights and dignity of all the Libyan people, men, women and children, are upheld and respected. We call on the authorities and all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. It is also key that the authorities work to  ensure accountability, by holding all those responsible for violations of international law to account, including through fulfilling their obligations to cooperate with the International Criminal Court.


Thank you.


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