December’s elections will determine path towards stability in Libya

I would like to thank Special Envoy Kubiš, and Dr Ben Saad for briefing the Council today and also Ambassador Tirumurti for your update from the Committee. In particular, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Kubiš for all his work throughout his tenure as Special Envoy. We are grateful to Dr Ben Saad and to all other women peacebuilders for their work in Libya.

As Mr Kubiš said, we have now entered a crucial period which will determine the path towards stability in Libya. I’d like to make three points today.

First, I’d like to reaffirm the UK’s full support for the Libyan led, Libyan owned process that has got us to this stage. We are clear that the elections must be free, fair and open, and allow for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth.

The UK strongly urges all Libyan actors to respect the electoral calendar, refrain from actions that would disrupt the process and resolve any disputes through legitimate pathways. Actions that undermine the electoral process only risk a return to conflict and entrenched divisions within Libya. We should not hesitate to use all the tools available, including sanctions, against those who attempt to undermine the process.

Libya’s leaders now have an opportunity to begin a new chapter for the country. The candidates for the Presidential election must work together in good faith before, during and after elections to avoid instability. It is crucial that there is a smooth, peaceful transfer of power following elections in Libya. After a decade of conflict, it is time that Libya’s political class put the interests of the Libyan people first.

Second, I welcome the comprehensive “Action Plan” from the 5+5 Joint Military Committee for the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries and the deployment of UN ceasefire monitors to support the Libyan ceasefire monitoring mechanism. The onus is now on international actors to deliver on the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries without delay. The ceasefire monitoring mechanism should monitor and verify that process.

Thirdly, I would like to express the UK’s concern about recent attacks by armed groups on the National Oil Corporation. These attempts to control Libya’s natural resources at the expense of the Libyan people are unacceptable. It is now more important than ever that Libyan authorities safeguard the integrity of their financial institutions so that the political process benefits all Libyans.

Mr President, the UK stands ready to work with Libya and our international partners to build a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous future for the Libyan people.

To that end, we welcome the unity of the international community, as expressed by the Paris Declaration and in the Presidential Statement we will adopt today.

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