ASRSG Stephanie Williams Opening Remarks Virtual Press Encounter UN HQ, NY, Monday 5 October 2020
I will start by providing a summary of the high-level ministerial meeting on Libya which was co-chaired by the Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister of Germany. The meeting was attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and senior representatives from Member States and regional organizations that are part of the Berlin process, as well as from Libya’s neighboring countries.
On behalf of the Secretary General, I want to thank the Foreign Minister of Germany for convening this important meeting, which sends a critical message that the Libyan people need to hear: it is time to reach a ceasefire and an inclusive political settlement of the crisis.
The Secretary-General updated participants on recent developments, and welcomed progress since the declarations by President [Fayez] Serraj and Speaker Agila Saleh in August, as well the recommendations that emerged from the meetings in Montreux, the meeting in Bouznika and more recently the meeting in Hurghada.
The Secretary-General highlighted how recent developments represent a rare opportunity to restore peace in Libya. He stressed that the future of Libya and of the entire region is at stake. He called on all Libyans to act constructively and responsibly to reach a political solution, as well as on the members of the international community to fully shoulder their responsibilities to promote an inclusive political solution.
Participants noted that Libya is an important, unsolved conflict of our times, with a devastating impact on the Libyan people but also on Libya’s neighbors.
They reaffirmed their commitment to the conclusions of the conference on Libya held in Berlin in January 2020, as endorsed by the Security Council through its resolution 2510(2020).
Participants called for an inclusive political process where all Libyan political and social components are represented, but also for collective international action in the framework of the Berlin process to resolve the Libyan crisis. They expressed full support for the intention of UNSMIL to reconvene intra Libyan talks, building on this recent progress. They also emphasized that the UNSMIL-facilitated process should be the only game in town to bring Libyans together to forge an inclusive political solution, and that and the International Community should unite behind and support these UN efforts. Bilateral and regional initiatives should all converge in support of the UN-facilitated process.
Participants welcomed the recent lull in hostilities and the de facto truce in Central Libya, they stressed the need to immediately stop all foreign military interventions in Libya and violations of the UN arms embargo. They urged the Libyans to swiftly implement a Demilitarized Zone in and around Sirte but also to agree on a lasting ceasefire in the framework of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission’s talks, which we expect to reconvene in the coming weeks.
They stressed the importance of ensuring the complete and unconditional lifting of the oil blockade, to allow the resumption of oil exports. In this regard, the participants welcomed the ongoing discussions in the framework of the Economy track regarding the equitable and transparent management of oil revenues among all regions of the country.
Participants expressed concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya, including on migrants and refugees. They welcomed the establishment in June by the Human Rights Council of the Fact-Finding Mission to investigate human rights violations in Libya, and committed to support its work. They urged all Member States to provide more resettlement and evacuation places for refugees and asylum seekers stranded in Libya.