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

Thank you SRSG Bathily for your briefing on the latest developments in Libya. Thank you also to Inida for the briefing and their work on the Libyan Sanctions Committee. And I also warmly welcome the PR of Libya to this meeting. Norway strongly supports your important work, SRSG, and that of UNSMIL to get the Libyan-led and owned political process back on track.

In particular, we applaud the SRSG’s ongoing work to consult widely, with a broad range of relevant stakeholders and actors. Including regional organizations and neighbouring countries; as well as civil society, women, and youth groups from across Libya.

We call on all Libyan institutions and parties to engage with SRSG Bathily in good faith, and work constructively with him to find a solution to end the political impasse.

This month marks one year since elections were postponed, and progress halted to a standstill. It is important that all sides agree on a consensual way forward to preserve the country’s unity and stability. As well as to meet the demands of the Libyan people themselves.

We echo the Secretary-General’s call for agreement on the way forward so that the Libyan people can determine their own future through national, transparent, and inclusive elections.

Sadly, we have yet to see Libya’s political leaders demonstrate the necessary political will. The political and institutional divide is widening, and deepening, the security situation is fragile, and the people of Libya are suffering. A strong and persuasive UN is needed to lead a united international effort in ending this unsustainable deadlock. The international community must speak with one voice on Libya.

It is a positive step that the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) have agreed to resume their work, and move forward with the implementation of the ceasefire agreement. We understand they plan to convene in January, and hope they will use this opportunity to both build on their previous achievements, and reinvigorate progress on outstanding issues.

We are especially pleased to note that the JMC has agreed to establish a technical sub-committee on disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR). This is a crucial element of the ceasefire agreement.

DDR – coupled with: steps to unify Libya’s armed forces; the full withdrawal of foreign fighters; and reform of the security sector;
remain essential components of building lasting peace and stability in Libya, and the region more broadly.

Norway remains concerned by reports of arbitrary arrests, detentions; and the sentencing of civil society, human rights defenders, humanitarian workers, and social activists, for exercising their right to freedom of expression. And we underline the importance of an independent judicial system to secure the rule of law. 

Similarly, we are deeply troubled that UNSMIL has observed a “significant surge” in verified cases of violations against children this fall- As well as attacks on schools and hospitals. This is simply unacceptable. We call on the Libyan authorities to fulfil their obligations to protect human rights, and the space for civil society.

Finally, we encourage all parties to show restraint, avoid any escalatory actions or rhetoric, and adopt a sense of urgency in resolving this conflict through peaceful solutions.

As this is the last meeting on Libya during our tenure at the Council, let me assure you that Norway wil continue to stay engaged and support the UN efforts to find a political solution the Libyan people desperately want, and deserve.