Thank you to Special Envoy Kubis for your briefing. And thank you to Asma Khalifa for your insightful contributions. You provide a powerful reminder of the significant ongoing work by Libyan women towards achieving reconciliation and sustainable solutions in Libya; and also why women must participate fully, equally, and meaningfully in the design and implementation of the ongoing political processes- including monitoring of the ceasefire agreement.
Let me also highlight the conclusions from the Independent Strategic Review. Such concrete recommendations are valuable, and provide helpful input to the current process of renewing the UNSMIL mandate. Norway fully supports the recommendations, and their implementation through the UNSMIL mandate renewal.
As expressed clearly by this Council, the Presidential and Parliamentary elections should be held as planned on 24 December this year. This is not only the expectation of the international community, but also of the Libyan people themselves. Free, fair, and inclusive elections are essential for Libya to move forward and to avoid further destabilisation of Libya as a whole.
We welcome the House of Representative’s adoption of the presidential elections law, and urge that the framework for the parliamentary elections is finalised as soon as possible. It is critical that the High National Elections Committee is provided with the necessary legislation to continue their preparation for elections.
A lot has been achieved, as illustrated by the ceasefire agreement from October 2020, and the formation of the Government of National Unity this year. It is critical now that these gains are preserved, and that the LPDF Roadmap from November 2020 is implemented.
We hope to see progress in the establishment of a ceasefire monitoring mechanism, including the deployment of ceasefire monitors, as mandated in resolution 2570.
And let me reiterate the importance of all foreign forces and mercenaries leaving the country - as Libyans themselves have called for in the ceasefire agreement.
We are worried by the targeting and destruction of civilian objects; and particularly the lack of humanitarian access. As of Wednesday this week, there are only 23 active visas out of the 180 international staff requiring access to the country. We urge the Libyan authorities to ensure full, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian workers; and to improve the civic space in Libya.
Let me conclude by reiterating Norway’s support to Special Envoy Kubis and UNSMIL, especially in their efforts to support the preparation of Libyan elections later this year.