Thank you Under Secretary-General DiCarlo for your briefing; and Ambassador Tirumurti for the periodic report of the sanctions committee.
I also want to thank Elham Saudi for joining us here in-person today to share your insightful briefing and recommendations to the Council.
First of all, Norway regrets that the elections were not carried out on December 24. This should not detract from of the political transition in Libya. Norway strongly encourages the political actors to continue all endeavors towards the transfer of power to democratically elected institutions.
Norway would like to see presidential and parliamentary elections take place as soon as possible. With 2.8 million Libyans having registered as voters- their expectation to have a say in the future of Libya is clear. Free, fair, and inclusive elections are imperative for Libya’s progress.
We urge the relevant Libyan institutions, and authorities- including the House of Representatives- to contribute to the preparation of the elections in a constructive way. This process must be Libyan-led and Libyan-owned.
We have seen positive political progress through the last year. And we should protect these achievements. The Libyan parties must agree on a roadmap towards a new election date. It is imperative that we don’t let spoilers create alternative undemocratic tracks.
Let me also repeat our call for the full, meaningful, and equal participation of women in Libya’s political process- including elections. Libyan women have the right to play an equal part in shaping the future of their country, as voters and as candidates. The participation of women is a crucial part of the democratic process, and the legitimacy of the Libyan government.
Furthermore – and as Elham Saudi elaborated – let me underline the importance of creating an enabling environment for peacebuilders, human rights defenders, and civil society, to carry out their work. Inclusive and participatory political processes require that that everyone can engage safely, and that civil society play an essential role.
Norway commends the Libyan parties for respecting the cease fire agreement. Peace, stability, and the absence of violence for the Libyan civilian population is of utmost importance. On the humanitarian situation, Norway is concerned about the reported lack of protection of civilians; and continuing violations of the human rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
The reported situation of people held in unlawful and arbitrary detention is also highly worrying - especially the reported continued incidents of sexual violence; and abuse of children. Those unlawfully and arbitrarily detained – in particular children – must be released immediately.
Norway gives our full support to Special Adviser Stephanie Williams and UNSMIL. A strong UN role is critical. The mandate renewal for UNSMIL this month is important.
Issues like: women, peace and security; humanitarian access; the protection of civilians; respect for human rights; and regional cooperation are essential. Norway also supports the implementation of the recommendations from the independent strategic review. We hope the Council can agree on a substantial resolution to renew the mandate for one year.