Message of Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Libya Ghassan Salame on United Nations Day
This United Nations Day is special in that the UN celebrates it inside Libya, alongside the Libyan people. My colleagues and I have spent the past year living in Tripoli, engaged with interlocutors in cities across the country, closely listening to all Libyans, whenever possible, wherever they live.
For the UN, Libya’s sovereignty is paramount, and so the process of reconciliation and state-building must be Libyan-owned and led. This was the underlying principle in the 75 preparatory sessions held across Libya and abroad, where over 7.000 Libyans consulted over their nation’s future expressed a wish for peaceful change and the conclusion to their country’s post-revolutionary transition.
This October 24th marks the 73st anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Charter. It is a charter that places humans at its centre and from which spring the humanitarian values behind the UN’s unceasing daily activities, around the world. In 2018 alone, in Libya, some of the UN’s contributions included food support to almost 90.000 people; shelter-related assistance to over 65.000 persons; the rehabilitation of 42 public facilities including hospitals, schools and water-sharing pumps; the destruction of 200 tons of explosive remnants of war in Misrata; and the voluntary and safe return of 13.000 migrants to their countries.
UNSMIL has decisively participated in tackling the crises that marked Libya’s turbulent year. In July, it stepped up to resolve the Oil Crescent crisis and safeguard Libyans’ main source of livelihood. In September, the Mission forged a ceasefire agreement between warring parties whose fighting threatened to rip the capital apart. In October, economic reforms were initiated whose implementation will help Libyans tackle the economy of predation and undermine the strength of militias.
The UN stands for peace, justice, human dignity, tolerance and solidarity. Just as I have faith in UN values, I have faith that Libyans can unite to forge their way towards one government, one parliament and one army – towards peace, security and prosperity.