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Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Libya

Thank you Mr President, and let me also thank the briefer today ASG Pobee, and I would also like to recognise the representative of Libya with us today.


Mr. President,


Ireland is gravely concerned about the violence in Tripoli and Misrata last week, resulting in civilian casualties. We express our deepest condolences to the victims and their loved ones. 


This incident demonstrates how precarious the security situation in Libya has become. We call on all actors to refrain fully from any escalatory actions and to preserve the fragile stability in place since the October 2020 Ceasefire Agreement. We commend the Joint Military Commission for its ongoing exemplary efforts on a number of key security issues, and welcome the recent meeting with military leaders.


The seizure by EU Operation IRINI last week of a vessel likely to be in violation of the UN arms embargo, further demonstrates the crucial role the Operation plays in contributing to the embargo’s implementation.


Mr. President,


Ireland hopes to see a substantive renewal of UNSMIL’s mandate this week. Special Advisor Williams has done a commendable job in brokering agreement between the parties on many sensitive issues.


However, last week’s events show the need for a fully mandated UNSMIL with its leadership agreed and in place. We call on this Council to show flexibility in facilitating the appointment of a new SRSG at the earliest opportunity.


Last month Mr. President, the respective presidents of the House of Representatives and the High Council of State met in Geneva under UN auspices to review the outstanding provisions of the 2017 constitution.


While the two sides made progress as we have heard, building upon the Joint Committee talks in Cairo, it is very disappointing that they did not bridge the remaining gaps to settle on a constitutional basis for elections.


We strongly urge all Libyan actors to intensify dialogue towards resolving outstanding issues to deliver for the Libyan people.


Mr. President,


The findings of the third report of the Libyan Fact Finding Mission make for disturbing reading. We are particularly troubled by incidents of sexual and gender-based violence, including against migrants. We call upon the authorities to address the failure of domestic legal frameworks to protect survivors, and to improve and increase support structures.


Libyan women are facing extreme barriers to meaningful participation in their country’s political transition - even the use of the term ‘feminist’ has become  grounds for investigation and arrest.


We sadly recall the third anniversary last week of the abduction and enforced disappearance of Siham Sergewa. We call for accountability for her disappearance and condemn all acts that attempt to silence women’s voices.


The Fact Finding Mission’s work, along with the renewed investigation of the ICC, is an important step towards delivering accountability and providing redress. This is crucial for the pursuit of peace, justice and reconciliation. We welcome the consensus renewal of the FFMs mandate at the Human Rights Council earlier this month.


Mr. President,


A free and safe civic space is indispensable to the growth and sustenance of democracy. Recent demonstrations by Libyans, many of them youth-led, should serve as a wake-up call for Libya’s leaders to put the needs and aspirations of their people first.


It goes without saying that protests should remain peaceful, and security forces must exercise maximum restraint and act in compliance with human rights obligations.


We also stress the importance of the fair and transparent management of Libya’s resources and public wealth, free from political interference.  


To conclude, Mr. President,


A Libyan-owned and Libyan-led process, facilitated by the UN, establishing a constitutional basis paving the way to free, fair, and inclusive national elections, is the only way to overcome the current political deadlock. Libyans deserve a safe and prosperous future; it is past time for this.


Thank you Mr. President.

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