SC: Libya

Statement by Permanent Representative Ambassador Mona Juul in the Security Council meeting on Libya / UNSMIL, 16 March 2022.

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 Jazia Gebril for your insightful briefing.

As we’ve heard, the situation in Libya is fragile. We are concerned about a possible escalation of violence and fighting. It is critical that Libya preserves the gains made, and not fall back into a spiral of violence. We urge all actors to abstain from provocative actions and rhetoric. The path for a stable, and peaceful, Libya is through dialogue. Differences can only be solved by political and diplomatic means.

While Libyans leaders call for a Libyan led and owned political process - the same leaders must show responsibility towards their own population, who demand improved public services, their say through democracy, and a better future. Forces for the status quo cannot continue to neglect these demands.

We welcome Special Advisor Williams’ initiative to form a joint committee with representatives from the House of Representatives and the High Council of State, to establish a constitutional framework for elections. Cooperation and compromise are key. We urge the parties to contribute to this process in a constructive and flexible way. All international actors should support the process.

The goal must be a peaceful transfer of power to democratically elected institutions. It is imperative that we don’t let spoilers create alternative undemocratic tracks. 2.8 million Libyans have registered to vote. They deserve to have their voices heard. In this tense situation, it is particularly important that the ceasefire agreement is upheld. And we urge the continued co-operation within the 5 + 5 JMC. It is similarly critical that foreign fighters, mercenaries, and foreign forces withdraw from the country - as Libyans themselves have called for.

Norway is gravely concerned about the reported arrest and detention of members of civil society, human rights organizations, and international non-governmental institutions. We remind Libya of the duty of States to fulfill their obligations to respect, protect, and human rights. Norway recognises that the humanitarian situation in Libya has improved during the past year - with a 40 percent reduction in the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

The decrease in the number of internally displaced persons is also encouraging. But at the same time, we remain concerned by the continued lack of protection of civilians. And violations of the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seeks are unacceptable. The continuing reported situation of people held in unlawful and arbitrary detention is also highly worrying. Especially incidents of sexual violence and abuse of children.

Finally, President,

Norway looks forward to the mandate renewal for UNSMIL that will take place next month. We sincerely hope the Council can agree on a substantial resolution to renew the mandate for one year. Furthermore, we support the implementation of the recommendations from the independent strategic review.

Thank you.