Statement by Ambassador Byrne Nason at the UNSC Briefing on UNSMIL/Libya Sanctions
Statement21 May 2021
Thank you Mr. President,
My thanks to Jan for his briefing and his assured stewardship of UNSMIL at such an important moment for Libya. I want to thank Ambassador Tirumurti for his report, and to welcome also Ambassador El Sonni, and thank him for his excellent presentation this morning.
We welcome the significant progress in Libya on the political front in recent months. We see this as a testament to the work of the LPDF, and the political will and desire among the Libyan people themselves for a better future. It is important to keep up the momentum on the political and, security tracks. We want also to commend Germany for its leadership of the Berlin Process, which plays a vital role in maximising international support for Libya, and look forward to its meeting next month.
On the political track, obviously much remains to be delivered, we have heard that this morning, to ensure the Libyan people will have the unified and peaceful future they deserve. The elections scheduled for 24 December mark a pivotal moment for Libya and must proceed as planned. It is important therefore that the House of Representatives clarify and enact, at the latest by 1 July, the constitutional basis as well as the legal and budgetary framework for the elections, as this Council called for in a resolution last month.
This will help ensure that elections are peaceful, transparent and inclusive, so that the people of Libya can determine their own future. It will be critical for the Government of National Unity to ensure the safety of political figures, candidates and voters alike. The conduct of municipal elections despite the political, security and pandemic-related challenges is an important and encouraging achievement.
It is also of vital important that women fully participate in the December elections, and the political process more broadly. I’d like to salute the key role of the women’s caucus in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum and I also want to welcome the pledge by the new interim executive authority to appoint women in at least 30 per cent of senior executive positions. We are going to watch that and ensure it is followed through. Ireland echoes the Secretary-General’s call on the Government of National Unity to deliver on that important commitment.
On the security track, Ireland urges UNSMIL to play a more forward role on the Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism in close coordination with the 5 +5 Joint Military Commission. While the process should of course be Libyan-owned and Libyan-led, UNSMIL and the international community must support Libyans in the implementation of the ceasefire. We look forward to the deployment of UNSMIL monitors as swiftly as possible. We emphasise the need to ensure also that gender considerations are taken fully into account.
Ireland remains deeply concerned about the continued presence in Libya of foreign fighters and mercenaries. We commend the A3+1 for highlighting the implications of this situation for neighbouring countries. We reiterate our call that all provisions of the ceasefire be implemented. Welcome progress has been made in clearing explosive remnants of war from the Coastal Road. However, the Road’s continuing closure is regrettable. Libya and neighbouring countries will also need support on disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, and on security sector reform. Gender considerations will be important here too.
Ireland is very concerned by continuing reports of violations of the arms despite numerous calls by this Council, most recently in UNSCR 2570. We commend the important role of EUNAVFOR IRINI, which objectively enforces the embargo on the High Seas. We look forward to renewal of IRINI’s mandate next month.
Ireland shares the Secretary-General’s concern about the continued arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees, including women and children. This practice should be ended. Measures are also needed to protect detainees from the horrors of sexual violence, assist victims and survivors, and to ensure that all allegations of sexual violence are effectively investigated and prosecuted.
Accountability must be an important step in Libya’s peace process and must be ensured for human rights violations, including the Tarhouna massacres. It is unacceptable that perpetrators of serious international crimes can act with impunity. Yet the recently reported deaths of two ICC fugitives, before they could be brought before the Court, highlights a lack of accountability. Peace requires justice, and justice is served by cooperation with and assistance to the Court.
In conclusion, Mr. President, I welcome the establishment of the High National Reconciliation Commission to lay the groundwork for a national reconciliation process. Ireland is pleased to share its own experience of reconciliation on our own small island, which remains a work in progress. I echo the Secretary-General’s call for an inclusive process based on justice and human rights, which is critical to support long-term peace, stability and social cohesion in Libya.