Raisedon Zenenga, Assistant Secretary-General and Mission Coordinator of USNMIL closing remarks Meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum meeting in Switzerland 28 June to 2 July
Distinguished members of the LPDF
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are here upon your request to hold an in-person meeting to address the unresolved issues that came up in your virtual meeting back in May.
During that meeting, you discussed your Legal Committee’s proposal for a constitutional basis for the 24 December elections and considered the unresolved issues. At the end of your virtual meeting, you were unable to resolve these outstanding issues.
Since then, some of you made commendable efforts to build common ground and develop some bridging proposals.
Three days before arriving in Switzerland, your colleagues, members of the Advisory Committee put together a proposal during a three-day meeting in Tunis in which they addressed these outstanding issues.
We all came to this meeting with a clear agenda, and a clear timeline. We had four days to consider the Advisory Committee proposal.
We gave you the full opportunity to discuss the bridging proposal agreed upon by the Committee in Tunis. We commend the Advisory Committee for setting the ground for the deliberations of this in-person LPDF meeting.
You had one and a half days to discuss the proposal developed by the Advisory Committee and narrow your differences.
In addition, you had a full day of informal consultations and negotiations to build common ground.
In that process, three other proposals emerged. Some of them were consistent with the Roadmap, some of them were not consistent with the Roadmap, and some sought to establish preconditions for arriving at the 24 December date.
You constituted a committee to bridge the various proposals. The first attempt to establish this committee was rejected on the basis that it was not balanced.
You then reconstituted a rebalanced committee to continue your pursuit of a compromise. This rebalanced Proposals Bridging Committee deliberated and proposed a way forward. The Committee’s proposal was rejected by many of you. The debate was heated, some of you threatened to walk out and boycott the process should the committee’s proposal be tabled for a vote.
Today, some of you requested a final opportunity to come up with a compromise proposal.
From the onset of this process, we were committed to giving you all the opportunities to reach a compromise. In addition to the above opportunities, an extra day was granted with the gracious and generous support of our host, the Swiss Government.
You had indicated that should this committee agree on a compromise it would be submitted for a vote by the plenary, with a view to adopting a constitutional basis. The committee has just reported that it has not succeeded in reaching an agreement. It is regrettable that, despite all the opportunities, there is still no common ground. The people of Libya will certainly feel let down as they still aspire to the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights in presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 December. This does not bode well for the credibility and relevance of the LPDF.
The key to breaking this deadlock is to return to the spirit of the Roadmap and reach a compromise that secures the political and practical feasibility of national elections on 24 December.
As we conclude this session, I encourage you to continue to consult among yourselves to pursue a workable compromise and cement what unites you.
On our part, we will continue to work with you and the Proposals Bridging Committee to explore further efforts to build common ground based on the Legal Committee’s proposal as all of us acknowledge that this is the reference framework for a constitutional basis for elections on 24 December 2021. Proposals that do not make the elections feasible and possible to hold elections on 24 December will not be entertained