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SC: UNSMIL / Libya

Statement by Permanent Representative Ambassador Mona Juul in the UN Security Council on UNSMIL / Libya and Libya sanctions, 21 May 2021.

Thank you to Special Envoy Kubis for you and your team’s ongoing work to support the political, security, and economic processes underway in Libya. We are pleased to see continued progress on the political track, especially as part of the roadmap towards December elections.

We welcome the continued steps, both by the Government of National Unity, and the House of Representatives, to sustain the positive momentum. And we encourage continuous focus on the preparations to approve and pass the constitutional and legal framework for elections, and other necessary legislation. In this regard, the adoption of a budget is a critical next step. And we urge the interim government to prioritise measures important to the daily lives of the Libyan people – such as restoring basic services of water, electricity, and health care.

President,

We commend also the role of UNSMIL, and of Special Envoy Kubis, in facilitating the finalisation of a draft constitution proposal in advance of the upcoming plenary meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum. Norway fully supports the Libyan people in their quest for peace and reconciliation through an inclusive political process. And we continue to urge the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women at all levels. As well as the effective inclusion of voices from youth and civil society groups in all their diversity.

We also welcome the establishment of a High National Reconciliation Commission; and the Special Envoy’s engagement with the African Union on this issue. Investigating and prosecuting violations of international humanitarian law, human rights violations and abuses, as well as promoting transitional justice, are critical components of achieving sustainable peace and stability in Libya.

President,

The fact that the ceasefire is still holding remains a positive signal. A safe environment for voting in December is essential to break the military deadlock. Norway welcomes the progress report on the ceasefire monitoring arrangements, and commends preparations underway to deploy the UNSMIL ceasefire monitoring component. Norway welcomes also the continued efforts of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission to facilitate the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries.

The implementation of the ceasefire provisions must be prioritised- including the reopening of the strategic Coastal Road connecting Misrata with eastern Libya.

In line with these efforts, a comprehensive Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration process is also needed for returning foreign fighters, in order to avoid spreading instability in the region. And security sector reform is urgently needed. I would also like to reiterate the obligation of all countries to respect the weapons embargo instituted by this Council. Breaching the embargo only fuels the conflict. We support Operation IRINI to implement the UN arms embargo on Libya.

President,

Norway joins the Special Envoy in expressing our continued concern about the arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees in formal detention centres, including children.

With an increasing number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the number of refugees and migrants in detention is also increasing. Particularly alarming are the reports of torture,  sexual violence, and abuse within these centres.  We welcome the announcement of a 15-member committee to address the issue of arbitrary detention, and, as always, urge respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law. As we enter a season with expected increased migration across the Mediterranean, we also need to focus on the prevention of drowning tragedies. 

President,

Let me end by reiterating Norway’s firm support for the Special Envoy and all the work undertaken to ensure fair and safe elections in December- as well as comprehensive and inclusive political, security, and economic processes. As we know, there are many potential spoilers to these efforts, and there are hurdles remaining ahead. It is our responsibility as Council members to provide the Libyans with the support they need. 

Thank you.