Thank you to Special Envoy Kubis for your briefing. And to Ambassador Tirumurti for the periodic report from the sanctions committee. This morning I would like to highlight four issues:
First, the importance of holding Presidential and Parliamentary elections on 24 December this year. While we welcome the progress made, we are nevertheless concerned by the deadlock over the constitutional basis for elections. This threatens to undermine all that has been achieved in the past year.
We urge the High Council of State, and the House of Representatives- as well as other relevant state institutions- to do their part to clarify the constitutional basis and enact the necessary legislation by 1 August. We expect the LPDF- with the active support and facilitation of UNSMIL- to take steps as necessary. And- in accordance with the Roadmap agreed by its members- to facilitate the holding of elections on time.
Free, fair, and inclusive elections are vital for Libya to move forward. This means that the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women, both as voters and candidates, must be ensured. To reach peace, and to sustain it, Libya needs to leverage women’s skills and leadership in: conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and securing political participation.
We are encouraged by the commitment shown by the Government of National Unity towards advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Including its agreement to collaborate with UN Women on a road map to a National Action Plan on 1325.
Norway supports these efforts, and we encourage others to do the same.
Second, the ceasefire agreement from October 2020 must be fully implemented. As Libyans themselves have called for, it is critical that all foreign forces and mercenaries leave the country. And that the Resolution 2570 mandate for the deployment of ceasefire monitors is implemented as soon as possible, to safeguard the existing ceasefire.
We recognise also the concerns of countries in the region regarding the possible destabilizing effects of returning foreign fighters and/or mercenaries. It is therefore necessary to ensure a comprehensive Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration process. Both UNSMIL and regional organizations can play important roles in facilitating the process and cooperation between the relevant countries.
My third point regards the arms embargo. As the Panel of Experts has stated, this embargo remains ineffective. The illicit flow of arms and military equipment into Libya is a clear obstacle to peace and progress in the country. We again urge all actors to respect the arms embargo, and to avoid fuelling the conflict further. Norway supports Operation IRINI to implement the UN arms embargo on Libya.
My fourth and final point is to express Norway’s continued concern about the tragic drowning of migrants and refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean.
We urge Libyan authorities to respect international law relating to search and rescue operations. We are also concerned about reports of arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees- including children- in official and unofficial detention centres.
Safeguarding those most vulnerable, and ensuring that their rights are protected, is a priority for long lasting peace and cohesion. And international humanitarian law and human rights law must be respected. Humanitarian access also continues to be challenging. We urge the facilitation of safe and unhindered access of humanitarian workers into Libya to protect and assist people in need.
To conclude let me reiterate Norway’s support to UNSMIL, and to Special Envoy Kubis.
As well as to UNSMIL’s continued and active facilitation of the Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process. Their support for the organisation of elections on 24 December, is essential.