Thank you SRSG Bathily for your briefing.
Norway welcomes your appointment as SRSG, and we are pleased to see that you have started work from Tripoli.
Libya faces a number of challenges. It is, therefore, crucial that we have a strong and stable UN presence in the country. First and foremost: to support the Libyan-led, and Libyan-owned political process.
Norway strongly supports the role and the work of the UN in Libya. The recommendations from the strategic review need to be implemented, and UNSMIL must have the necessary resources. A one-year extension of UNSMIL’s mandate is necessary for UNSMIL to fulfil its role.
We welcome what you (SRSG Bathily) just reported here today, and your engagement with the Libyan parties in order to get the political process back on track. The priority should be to agree on a constitutional framework for the holding of elections. And a timeline should also be established.
Norway urges all Libyan parties to work constructively with the SRSG on these issues, and to heed the calls of the Libyan people to hold elections. We also encourage all parties to show restraint, and to avoid actions and rhetoric that can escalate the situation. All parties must take responsibility for avoiding a new escalation of violence.
Norway is concerned by the deteriorating situation for migrants in Libya. We condemn the killing of 15 migrants in Sabratha, and call on the Libyan authorities to ensure a thorough investigation of these deaths. We are deeply concerned by reports of violations and abuses of international law- including conflict-related sexual violence, arbitrary arrests, abductions, and the reported use of torture.
Acts of violence in detention centres against migrant and refugee children- who represented 18 per cent of the detainee population- also continue to be reported. We call on the Libyan authorities to: end arbitrary detention- in particular of children; to release those unlawfully detained; and to immediately put in place measures to prevent torture, sexual violence, or other ill-treatment in detention.
Libyan authorities must fulfil their obligations to protect human rights-
and the space for civil society, including women’s rights groups, must be protected.
Let me finish by reiterating the need for the full withdrawal of all foreign fighters, mercenaries, and foreign forces from Libya. And the need to implement a sufficient program for DDR in close cooperation with neighbouring countries.