Thank you Special Envoy Kubis for your briefing, and to Ambassador Tirumurti for the periodic report of the sanctions committee. I also want to thank Dr. Lamees BenSaad for her insightful briefing today. Let me start by reiterating the need for both Presidential and Parliamentary elections to be held as planned on December 24.
This is the expectation not only of the international community- including this Council- but also of the Libyan people themselves. It is essential that their voices are heard. We commend the efforts of the High National Elections Commission to prepare the technical aspects of the elections. With already 2.8 million voters being registered. We are concerned that a delay of the elections may lead to increased violence and instability, and prolong the divisions in the Libyan society. The ceasefire is already fragile. And Libya’s institutions have been divided for too long, creating serious security and economic consequences.
It is critical that the transfer of power is facilitated in a way that minimises the risk of a vacuum. The plans to announce the results of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections simultaneously are important in this regard. My final point on elections is to reiterate the importance of women’s full, meaningful, and equal participation in the elections. Libyan women have the right to play an equal role in shaping their country’s future- both as voters and as candidates.
Norway fully supports the declaration from the 12 November Paris Conference. It is in line with the clear expectations expressed by this Council. And is a strong signal of the international community’s commitment to Libya’s democratic process. We were encouraged by the fact that Libya- with both Dabeibah and Menfi- co-hosted the conference. This is essential to secure- and highlight- the Libyan ownership of the political process. We sincerely hope that the Council will continue to speak with one voice to support the political process in Libya.
Furthermore, we continue to urge the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement of October 2020. Where the Libyan parties themselves agreed that foreign fighters and mercenaries should leave the country. While we are seeing reports of some fighters leaving; the large majority are still in Libya. This poses a challenge for Libyan sovereignty, and the unification of Libyan security institutions. Also- acknowledging the concerns of neighbouring countries- we reiterate the need for a DDR process for armed groups returning to countries in the region.
In the last weeks we have witnessed migrants being arrested in the streets of Tripoli.
And heard of the reported crimes and violence in detention centres- including sexual and gender-based violence. Norway is deeply concerned, and we call for an immediate and unconditional release of vulnerable groups, including children.
We note that Special Envoy Kubis will be resigning from his post. Let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank him for his efforts to move the political process forward; and his dedicated work with the Libyan parties in preparing for elections.