Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Libya
Statement30 August 2022
Thank you, Mr. President, and thanks also to our briefers this afternoon, TUSG Di Carlo and Ambassador Kamboj, chair of the 1970 Committee. Let me also welcome the participation of the Libyan Ambassador at this meeting.
The violent confrontations that we have seen in Tripoli in recent days are deeply concerning and only serve to raise tensions, while exacting the greatest toll on the civilian population. We sympathize with those who have lost loved ones and who have been injured over the last couple of days. We unequivocally reject all attempts to gain legitimacy or control over state institutions through the threat or use of force.
To Libya’s leaders we say: Legitimacy comes only from the Libyan people. Legitimacy comes only from the ballot box. The current executive impasse can only be addressed through the holding of free, fair and inclusive elections.
The fact that 3 million Libyans registered to vote in December should have provided incentive enough to find agreement on a way forward, capitalizing on progress made in Cairo and Geneva.
Today, Libyans are increasingly facing deteriorating living conditions with access to basic services including water, food and healthcare seriously curtailed.. They neither want nor can cope with another conflict. Responsible and transparent governance is urgently needed.
An independent and unified judiciary is also key. We hope that the recent decision to reactivate the Constitutional Chamber will contribute to safeguarding Libyans’ rights and freedoms, paving a way towards elections as soon as possible.
We remain gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Libya, including recent reports of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances around the July demonstrations. Libya’s democratic future is jeopardised by deepening restrictions on civil society, which regrettably include increased incidents of online hate speech and incitement to violence targeting women activists.
We condemn these deplorable acts. Women’s full, equal, meaningful and safe participation in public life, including a future electoral process, must be guaranteed. We also echo the statements made by Stephanie Williams’ in calling for youth voices to be ‘lifted’
Restrictions on the activities of international organisations working with migrants are particularly worrying in light of ongoing denials of access for UN agencies and humanitarian partners to detention centres. Recent reports from the Secretary-General and from the Libya Fact Finding Mission lay bare abhorrent violations of human rights and humanitarian and protection concerns faced by migrants and refugees in Libya. We call on the authorities to grant full humanitarian access to all of those in need of assistance without delay.
We also call on this Council to unanimously renew Resolution 2240 on migrant smuggling and human trafficking next month. .
It is nearly two years since the Ceasefire Agreement delivered a fragile stability to war-weary Libyans. It is now past time to fully implement this Agreement.
We welcome the progress made during a meeting earlier this month between the Joint Military Commission and UNSMIL in Sirte and the activation of a Joint Operations room. We hope to see prompt follow-up on the progress made, including with regard to the Action Plan for the withdrawal of foreign forces, foreign fighters and mercenaries.
In April, this Council tasked UNSMIL with implementing important reforms recommended by the Strategic Review. A Special Representative is needed on the ground to carry out this vital task and to navigate the Mission through this delicate phase of Libya’s transition.
We express our gratitude to acting Head of Mission Zenenga for his ongoing efforts and also take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of Stephanie Williams for all her work as Special Advisor.