Thank you, President
Thank you Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo for your briefing. I also thank Ms Al Hodiri for reminding us of the importance of womens’ participation in matters of peace and security. And, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Stephanie Williams, for all her work on Libya over the last few years, and to welcome the Secretary-General’s efforts to appoint a Special Representative. We look forward to a prompt appointment.
I will make four points today.
First, the UN has been clear that, as the December elections did not go ahead, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum roadmap has not expired. We acknowledge the focus by some stakeholders on the perceived deadline of the roadmap, but parallel governments and parallel institutions are not in the interests of the Libyan people, and neither is unconstrained spending. We urge all parties to recognise that Libya’s resources must be managed in a transparent, responsible and accountable manner throughout the country, for the benefit of the Libyan people.
Second, we welcome the progress made during the talks in Cairo between the Joint Committee of the House of Representatives and High State Council, facilitated by Special Adviser Williams. The onus is now on the leaders of the two chambers to finalise urgently the legal basis for elections and to deliver on the Libyan people’s desire to choose their leaders. We therefore welcome plans for a meeting in Geneva in the coming days. Both leaders must now put the interests of Libya first. Stability in Libya can only be achieved through an inclusive political process that includes credible, transparent and inclusive parliamentary and presidential elections as soon as possible.
Third, it is more important than ever that we secure the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, including the Wagner Group. Their continued presence is detrimental to peace and security in Libya and the broader region. All foreign forces and mercenaries should leave Libya without delay. We support the work of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission to implement the October 2020 Ceasefire Agreement and urge further progress on implementation. All parties involved should engage with the UN and 5+5 to honour the commitments made.
Finally, President, the UK reaffirms its readiness to work with Libya and all international partners to build a more peaceful, stable future for the country and for the Libyan people. We will be in touch with Council members in the coming days on the upcoming renewals of the Panel of Experts and UNSMIL mandates. As you all know, we have faced difficulties over the past nine months in agreeing a substantive mandate – I hope all Council members are now ready to engage in a constructive discussion on the future of the Mission, and agree a longer mandate to provide UNSMIL with the stability it needs.