SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN LIBYA (UNSMIL) FRIDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2022 (10:00AM) STATEMENT BY AMB. MARTIN KIMANI, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE ON BEHALF OF THE A-3 (GABON, GHANA, KENYA)
Thank you Madam President
I am honoured to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3 - namely, Gabon, Ghana and Kenya.
We thank Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Abdoulaye Bathily and you, Amb. Ruchira Kamboj, Chair of the 1970 Committee for the briefing and welcome the participation of Ambassador Taher El Sonni, Permanent Representative of Libya.
We have taken note of the report of the Secretary General and commend the Special Representative of the Secretary General for his continued mediation efforts. We also commend the staff of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya for their work.
It is good that as of today’s meeting, there has been relative calm, especially in and around Tripoli. However, we are acutely aware of how delicately the ceasefire holds. Therefore, any more time that we spend on this file should be geared at earnestly diving into the practical aspects of guiding and supporting the peace process.
That is why we are particularly keen on the SRSG’s plan of action, informed by wide consultations with Libyan stake-holders. In this regard, we propose four elements we consider critical to the success of the peace process:
First, the process must be truly Libyan-led and owned. The people of Libya are capable of deciding what is best for Libya. As Libyans, they understand their history and the vision of their country. They know what has worked and what has not, and why. They understand the psyche of the people, and are able to prescribe practical solutions.
For this to happen, the international community should desist from dictating solutions which is tantamount to foreign interference. When played out in public, this is utterly careless and leads to confusion. We demand the departure of foreign forces, foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya as they undermine Libya’s territorial integrity and its national ownership of the peace process.
Secondly, for Libyans to make such Libyan-led and owned decisions, we must provide them with the space for dialogue and national reconciliation, linked to every stage and track of the peace process as acknowledged under resolution 2656. Intra-Libyan dialogue is critical and should include all Libyan stakeholders including the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and the youth. UNSMIL should be strengthened to enable it provide requisite support, not only at the central political level but also, at the grassroots engagement.
We commend the Presidential Council for taking leadership of the national reconciliation process, including the drafting of a reconciliation law and the plans for a national reconciliation conference with the support of the African Union. An inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation process forms the firmest foundation for the development of a consensual constitutional basis upon which credible national elections may be conducted as the people of Libya desire.
The third element is coordination of international support through the UN-led process. Foreign interference in Libya also manifests through uncoordinated international support. Some of it is driven by narrow foreign interests in Libyan resources while others are advancing proxy wars. In that regard, we call on all Libyan political actors, especially those who may be advancing the course of foreign interests, to consider as a matter of urgency, the overall interests of Libyans. To counter this, any international assistance offered to Libya for the peace process should respect the mandated UN leadership of the process as stipulated under resolution 2542 of 2020.
International assistance is important but should be channeled in a manner that does not feed on the ongoing political impasse to further divide Libyans and advance foreign agenda on Libyan soil.
The fourth and final element is the critical role of neighbouring states and regional and subregional organisations. Libya is inextricably linked with her neighbours in history, culture, politics and economically, among other areas, hence the direct bearing of the conflict on the region. We call for active coordination and collaboration by the UN-led process with neighbouring states and regional initiatives. This is indispensable to a successful peace process in Libya and a stable region. We urge coordination and cooperation in, among other areas, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, counter-terrorism, and trafficking and smuggling of arms and humans. Madam President,
The inhumane treatment of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers continues unabated despite our repeated calls for further action to tackle it. We have repeatedly called for closer monitoring of resources and information channeled towards tackling illegal and irregular migration in Libya, through the Mediterranean Sea and to the southern outline of the European coast. We reiterate this call.
Given the magnitude of this issue, support for border and migration management programmes on the northern frontier of the African continent needs to have international transparency and corresponding systems of accountability. We call on the European Union and its Members to factor this in their migration policies.
We demand that refugees, migrants and asylum seekers be treated with dignity as a basic requirement of international law. To provide a clearer status of the intensity of the problem, we request for a more comprehensive segment on the same in the Secretary General’s report. Including representatives of the UN Agencies for refugees and migration as briefers in Council meetings on Libya would also be informative.
We acknowledge the work of the 1970 Sanctions Committee on Libya and remind that sanctions are not perpetual but are a means towards the ultimate goal – the peace and stability of Libya. Therefore, there should be close coordination with Libyan authorities in the administration of sanctions. We emphasise that all Libya’s frozen assets belong to Libyans and therefore should be preserved for the eventual return and benefit of Libyans.
Finally, Madam president, we reaffirm our respect for Libya’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and support for the people of Libya for a truly- Libyan led and owned peace process.