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SC: UN Support Mission in Libya

Statement by Ambassador Mona Juul on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), 28 January 2021.

Norway joins this Council’s discussions at a time of hope for progress towards a Libyan-owned political solution, one that can bring about peace and stability.

And, we would like to thank Acting SRSG Williams for her impressive efforts. UNSMIL has played a decisive role in the achievements made. And, as this is her last briefing, we wish her the best of luck in her new endeavours.

We are encouraged by the progress in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), building on the ceasefire agreement from October 23 - which is still holding. The recent agreement on a mechanism for selecting a unified executive authority is an important step forward towards: implementing the Roadmap, reunifying the government and institutions of Libya, and holding credible, inclusive and democratic national elections on December 24.

We commend the members of the LPDF for their constructive approach, and willingness to reach compromises across dividing lines. Furthermore, we urge all Libyan parties to commit to the implementation of the Roadmap and to respect the outcome of the selection mechanism for a temporary executive authority. A peaceful transfer of power to a new Government of National Unity would be a significant step towards a long-awaited peace and stability for Libya. A lot of hard work remains, and we encourage all parties to act urgently and in good faith to finalise the adoption of a unified and inclusive government.

There are, however, many spoilers and unsolved questions. At this crucial stage of intra-Libyan efforts, there should be no doubt about the Security Council’s strong and clear support of the political process. Libyans themselves have made it clear that they want change – they want peace. We as Council members should therefore do our part to give them the support they need. We are encouraged by the work in the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) and their concrete progress in implementing the ceasefire agreement. 

Norway supports a role for UNSMIL in monitoring the ceasefire in Libya, as laid out in the Secretary-General’s report from December. Such a monitoring mechanism should be Libyan-led and Libyan-owned. We must seize this opportunity and provide the support that the Libyan parties have asked for.

President, colleagues,

We do however remain concerned by the widespread foreign interference in Libya, as well as the continuing breaches of the arms embargo. Those acting in violation of the arms embargo should be held accountable. We acknowledge also the important contributions of Operation IRINI’s in monitoring the embargo. We are also disappointed by the lack of respect for the provisions of the ceasefire agreement shown by some members of the international community. In particular the unwillingness to ensure the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya, as called for by the Libyans.

President,

We value SRSG Williams’ focus on consulting civil society representatives throughout the process. This has resulted in the inclusion of key human rights principles in the LPDF political roadmap.  We are especially pleased to see that seventeen of the participants of the LPDF are women. We are impressed by the constructive contributions, and the decisive role in forging consensus, played by these women delegates to the LPDF.

There is no better proof that the full, equal and meaningful participation of women- at all levels- in Libya is necessary to ensure lasting peace. This includes in all aspects of political life, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.

We support the Secretary-General’s call for all Libyan actors to implement Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.We also note and appreciate that UNSMIL has established the ‘Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements’ on conflict-related sexual violence in Libya. Improving documentation is an important contribution to ensuring accountability for violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law.

We do however remain concerned about ongoing violations and abuses of human rights in Libya. For example the large number of people in unlawful and arbitrary detention.

We urge UNSMIL to continue to work with national Libyan institutions to strengthen the rule of law and accountability for human rights violations and abuses.

Finally President,

Let me highlight an issue related to the protection of civilians. The reported situation in detention centers is worrying. Especially the detention of children, and the multiple allegations of sexual violence and abuse. ICRC must be given access to these centers, and efforts must be made to prevent disappearances and to restore family links.

Let me close by again thanking Acting SRSG Williams for your efforts. We congratulate Ján Kubiš on his appointment as Special Envoy and Head of UNSMIL, and look forward to working closely with him going forward. He will have Norway’s full support.