ASRSG Stephanie Williams Closing Remarks of LPDF Virtual Meetings 08 November 2020
Let me start by thanking you for the trust you place in the United Nations, and for the kind words you have addressed to me and UNSMIL team. We are honored by the trust the Libyan people have historically placed in the United Nations, and we feel a great sense of responsibility in bringing you together.
I want to thank you for the constructive spirit that you have showed over the past two days and for the important points that you have raised in your statements.
First, I would like to once again recall how we got here, what our mandate is, and what are the objectives of this dialogue. We know that no single dialogue can solve all of Libya’s problems. But you are called urgently to address some of the most burning issues that are affecting the daily lives of Libyan people, through the restoration of Libya’s sovereignty and an effective governance for the people.
This meeting, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, is just the latest step on a long path. When world leaders came together in Berlin in January of this year, they asked the UN to facilitate an inclusive intra-Libya political and reconciliation process. The UN Security Council endorsed the Berlin Conference Conclusions in resolution 2510, noting that the Libyan Political Agreement of 2015 and its institutions should serve as “a” viable framework for a political solution in Libya, as well as other relevant UNSC Resolutions and the principles agreed in Paris, Palermo and Abu Dhabi. Resolution 2510 also echoed the requests of Libyans that we have heard for over a year now: the need to use these intra-Libyan talks to establish a functioning Presidency Council and form a single, unified, inclusive and effective Libyan government. And it asks us to find a way to end the transitional period through free, fair, inclusive and credible parliamentary and presidential elections organized by an independent and effective High National Elections Commission.
Over the past two days I have taken note of your requests and observations about how we should conduct the dialogue and what should be the key elements of the political process and the preparatory phase. These include the creation of a new executive authority that is capable of organizing elections on a clear constitutional basis, and implementing the political, economic and military reforms necessary to give the Libyan people a sense of normalcy back in their lives.
You have stressed the importance of designing a thorough roadmap for the Libyan political process post-LPDF, to develop a national charter that is based on the principles of accountability, justice and human rights and a firm commitment to a civilian state. You have also stressed the importance of national reconciliation and of building trust within the Libyan society. To empower strong, effective and legitimate institutions, that should work on the basis of transparency and accountability to fight corruption, as well as of decentralization to ensure adequate provision of services to the people.
Tomorrow, after the opening ceremony, we will work with you to develop a road map that outlines how we will get this done. We will also establish a drafting committee as many of you have requested today, which will help us to work more efficiently and consensually.
Once the roadmap is adopted, and we have committed to the Libyan people a clear and accountable path to elections, will have to decide how the country should be governed until in the end of this short preparatory period. Each and every one of you will have a say in these important decisions, which are vital to the future of you country. It will be important to reach these decisions in a timely manner, in accordance with the following principles which UNSMIL is putting forward based on international best practices. As the mediator of this process, I ask you to cooperate by adhering to these principles throughout the dialogue process.
1. Inclusivity: all participants in the dialogue process are considered as equals and all must be given the opportunity to speak and share their views. UNSMIL undertakes to note and record all points, whether or not they form the view of the majority;
2. Transparency: all decisions are taken collectively, and no decisions will be considered as final unless endorsed by the majority of the participants.
3. Efficiency: the objective of all participants is to reach results for the good of the nation. UNSMIL will therefore propose rules and mechanisms to facilitate the discussion and the emergence of a sufficient consensus, overcome blockages and reach effective consensus;
4. Pluralism: We recognize the diversity of views among Libyans and encourage the participants to seek consensual solutions. The outcomes should recognize and satisfy all principal Libyan social components, regions and viewpoints.
5. Collegiality: discussions should be conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect and fraternity. An emphasis will be placed on reaching a large consensus among participants on key decisions.
6. Patriotism: most importantly, decisions will be undertaken to promote the national interest over selfish or parochial interests, to promote unity over division, and the restoration of sovereignty and empowerment of legitimate Libyan institutions.
You have a great responsibility in front of you. Many of you have put yourself forward for such responsibility before. Almost half of you, 36 in total have been elected to office in Libya at some point in the last 10 years. Many others have worked in civil society or been active in your local communities.
I want to close today’s session to reiterate the importance of your role for the future of Libya through your contribution in the dialogue. Your fellow citizens are looking at you and waiting to see what you produce. We cannot disappoint them. It is your responsibility to deliver and offer new hope to Libyans. And should you be willing to take up this task, I assure you that the United Nations will accompany you on this journey, we will stand by you and we will do everything within our means to support you.