Statement by Ambassador Flynn at the UNSC Briefing on the Situation in Libya
Statement15 July 2021
Thank you, Mr. President,
And thank you Special Envoy for your comprehensive briefing. I also want to thank France for convening today’s meeting at a high-level, reflecting the importance we all attach to Libya’s future.
I want to welcome, in particular, the presence here today of Prime Minister Dbeibeh, and also the participation of Ministers and Secretary General Aboul Gheit.
At this critical moment, for Libya, it would be remiss not to highlight the significant progress that has been achieved to date. The October Ceasefire Agreement and the endorsement of the Government of National Unity in March are very important and hard won achievements.
But, as others have outlined, more remains to be done. This includes the holding of elections in December as scheduled; the immediate withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya, and the unification of Libya’s political, security and economic institutions.
With this in mind, Ireland welcomes and endorses the Conclusions of the Second Berlin Conference on the 23rd of June.
It is deeply regrettable that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum was unable to agree the constitutional basis for December elections by the 1 July deadline. We reiterate our firm support for the holding of national Presidential and Parliamentary elections on the 24th of December, as set out in the LPDF’s agreed political roadmap, and in accordance with resolution 2570. We call on the the Libyan authorities and the House of Representatives to make all necessary preparations and encourage the LPDF to continue to search for a workable compromise on the constitutional basis.
UNSMIL should now redouble its efforts to safeguard the political process against all risks to progress. The holding of free, fair and inclusive elections is the foundation of any democratic society. Any delays to the December timeline risk jeopardising both Libya’s political transition, and the prospects for security and economic reform. This Council will have the opportunity to take stock of progress in September.
We regard inclusive voter education, as well as measures to ensure the safety of all participants in the political process as essential components of election preparation. Ireland underlines the necessity - and the right - of women to participate and engage fully in all areas related to the democratic transition, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Youth must also be supported and involved in such processes.
We encourage UNSMIL to proceed with its deployment of ceasefire monitors to Libya as soon as possible. The importance of fully integrating a gender perspective into ceasefire monitoring, in line with UNSCR 2570, cannot be overstated.
We welcome the unanimous adoption of Security Council Resolution 2578 last month, and commend Operation IRINI for its ongoing efforts to support implementation of the arms embargo.
We also encourage further international support and regional cooperation between Libya and its neighbours to enable the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of armed groups and a coordinated return to their countries of origin.
In addition to political and security challenges, we should not neglect the importance of addressing vital humanitarian and development issues. Economic and financial reform, as well as the strengthening of Libyan institutions, is critical for long-term recovery. We welcome the conclusion of the international financial audit review of the Central Bank of Libya, which paves the way for unification, as you have outlined earlier, Special Envoy. We also call on the House of Representatives to approve a budget permitting essential humanitarian and infrastructure interventions to progress.
We stress that all parties in Libya must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, and note with concern the serious violations outlined in the Secretary General’s report. We underscore the need to ensure accountability for such violations. Countering impunity is essential to preventing future violations and we fully support the work of the Independent Fact Finding Mission in this regard.
We welcome the Government of National Unity’s efforts, working with the African Union in particular, to create a national reconciliation process, and encourage the Libyan authorities to strengthen transitional justice institutions. The work of the ICC must be seen as complementary to these important domestic initiatives. We continue to call on States to cooperate with the Court as it investigates allegations of serious international crimes in Libya.
We are extremely concerned about grave violations against children in Libya and echo the concerns made by the Special Envoy earlier. It is essential that child protection provisions are included in ceasefire monitoring and the transitional processes. We call for an end to the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention of migrants, especially the detention of children.
I will conclude, Mr. President, by recalling our collective responsibility, as members of this Council, to deliver on the commitments of the Berlin Conference, and relevant Council resolutions, to enable the Libyan people to build a unified, democratic and peaceful country.