8488th Security Council Meeting: Situation in Libya

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20-Mar-2019 00:34:24
All parties in Libya must seize critical chance to forge inclusive, stable future ahead of national conference, special representative tells Security Council at 8488th meeting.

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The National Conference on the future of Libya, to be held in April, presents a crucial opportunity for all parties to set aside their differences, unite, avoid war and choose a path of peace and prosperity, the Secretary‑General’s Special Representative for that country told the Security Council today.

“There is much at stake,” emphasized Ghassan Salamé, who is also Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), briefing via video‑teleconference from Tripoli. “If the opportunity presented by the National Conference is not seized, then we will be faced with only two possible options: prolonged stalemate or conflict.”

Urging the international community to put pressure on all the parties to agree on a formula to conclude eight years of transition in Libya, he said participants in the forthcoming gathering will choose whether to endorse the National Charter that emerged from a consultative process, or to chart a road map leading to either simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections or phased elections.

Participants will also recommend how to deal with the draft Constitution produced by the Constitutional Drafting Assembly, he continued. “The days ahead will prove foundational to the years ahead for Libyans and the region at large,” he added, calling upon Libyans to come together and avoid obstruction, incitement, and inflammatory and alienating rhetoric. The Mission, for its part, is working with many parties to ensure that the National Conference is as inclusive as possible, he stressed.

As Council members took the floor, Equatorial Guinea’s representative said the situation in Libya is a grave concern for the entire African continent. Welcoming a recent initiative of the African Union, he added that it is perhaps time for a different approach that leads to elections by the end of 2019, and an inclusive national forum on peace and reconciliation.

In similar vein, South Africa’s delegate urged all parties to give peace a chance. She also called for more funding to be provided through the 2019 humanitarian response plan for Libya. On sanctions, she said there is need for a strong message to all those hampering the political process, while underlining, however, that sanctions cannot be an end in themselves.

Libya’s representative said the Government of National Accord is redoubling its efforts to end the conflict and promote an inclusive process that can help to end the ongoing power struggles and create a State with the supreme interests of the people at its heart. He called for national reconciliation and the holding of free, credible elections, while also urging the Security Council to set aside differences and support the Special Representative.

Also briefing was Juergen Schulz (Germany), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:40 a.m.

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