"Strengthen and unify" efforts to restore Libya, urges top UN official in Tripoli

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The head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, addressed the Security Council from the Mission’s Tripoli office. Photo: UNSMIL Twitter feed

Libya's future prosperity and stability depends on the international community further strengthening and unifying its efforts on behalf of the whole country.

That's the plea from the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, addressing the Security Council for the first time in his key new role.

Despite a nearly two-year-old Political Agreement, the country is still divided into armed factions, mired in conflict and a stumbling economy.

Matt Wells has more.

Mr Salamé painted a vivid picture of the insecurity, frustration and economic despair that has made Libya the epicentre for human trafficking towards Europe, with many of the hallmarks of a failed state.

Despite its relative oil wealth, he said, endless cuts in utilities; sporadic violence across the country and political stalemate; were preventing the country from fulfilling it's potential.

"The UN stands willing and able to act in the best interests of all Libyans at equal distance from all parties. I very much hope that with the trust of our Libyan partners and the confidence of the regional organizations and concerned Member States, we are able to strengthen and unify our collective efforts and together restore Libya to its rightful place in the family of nations, one united stable, and prosperous country."

The Special Representative told Council Members that security and oil production in the capital, Tripoli, had improved markedly in recent weeks.

He signalled that amendments to the 2015 Political Agreement were imminent, as a way of finally making progress to ending conflict and the accompanying humanitarian crisis.

He said a further sign of hope was a commitment from the Secretary-General to develop a Libyan Action Plan during the upcoming General Assembly.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'18"

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