08 December 2014 - Building on concerted efforts to stem the on-going violence in Libya and bring about a peaceful resolution of the current political crisis that would spare the Libyan people further strife, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has over the past few weeks undertaken intense consultations with all the major stakeholders to create a conducive environment for the proposed dialogue talks which the Mission had earlier announced its intention to convene on 9 December.
As UNSMIL has reiterated on numerous occasions, dialogue is first and foremost a Libyan necessity, and remains the most viable and effective means of addressing with a view to ending the deepening political polarization and raging military hostilities. A spirit of compromise and consensus will be key to ensuring a successful dialogue that lays the ground for a stable and secure Libya.
Decisions should be taken by the Libyans after a wide debate, for which the new dialogue session will only be a first gathering. A process should start and the participants in this dialogue should have the opportunity to consult further with their constituencies before decisions are taken.
UNSMIL has stressed to all that there will be no conditions attached to the dialogue, and that the primary objective will be to reach agreement on the management of the remainder of the transitional period, until such time that a new permanent constitution is adopted. In particular, discussions will focus on finding consensual solutions to the on-going institutional crisis in the country. It is envisaged that these proposals can form the basis for further discussions and consultations outside the immediate framework of the proposed dialogue, and if deemed acceptable to the relevant constituencies, form the basis of a comprehensive political agreement.
In addition to the relevant stakeholders, the proposed dialogue will provide a forum for the country’s political parties and tribal forces, as well as leaders of the armed groups, to be active partners in the search for consensual solutions.
The proposed dialogue will also seek to put in place the necessary security arrangements in order to bring an end to the armed hostilities raging in different parts of the country. In this regard, the dialogue will aim to identify and agree on mechanisms for the monitoring and implementation of a ceasefire, and for the withdrawal of all armed groups from cities and towns across Libya, as well as from vital state installations and facilities as a first step towards enabling the State to assume full responsibility for their control and security.
Throughout its consultations, UNSMIL has made it clear to all the parties that its role will remain limited to the facilitation of the proposed dialogue, and ensuring conducive conditions for its conduct whereby all the parties are able to interact positively and constructively, and to reach a consensual agreement at the earliest opportunity. UNSMIL’s facilitation of the proposed dialogue is undertaken on the firm understanding that the dialogue process itself and its outcomes will remain Libyan-owned, and will in no way prejudice the Mission’s own absolute commitment to Libya’s sovereignty and independence.
In this regard, UNSMIL categorically refutes all recent allegations made in the media with respect to purported leaked documents or agreements relating to the outcomes of the proposed dialogue. These allegations aim to cast doubt on this dialogue as the only means to resolve the current crisis instead of the continuing fighting and political-economic difficulties.
At this critical juncture of Libya’s transition, and so that the proposed dialogue does not become another wasted opportunity, UNSMIL appeals to all parties to approach the proposed dialogue with a spirit of objectivity and conciliation, and to uphold their country’s national interest as the surest safeguard for preserving its unity and territorial integrity, and avoiding further bloodshed.