SRSG for Libya Bernardino Leon's address at the Libyan Political Dialogue round in Skhirat, Morocco

9 Jun 2015

SRSG for Libya Bernardino Leon's address at the Libyan Political Dialogue round in Skhirat, Morocco

08 June 2015

Son Excellence M. Rachid Talbi Alami

President de la chamber des Representants

Son Excellence Madame Mbarka Bouida, Ministre Deleguee aux Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres et de la cooperation

Dear Participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Process,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

as-Salamu Alaykum,

Today, the eyes of the people of Libya are all on you, full of anticipation, full of hope
that your words and actions will silence the guns that have wrought havoc and untold pain on countless lives...

Today, mothers across Libya have their eyes on you, praying that your words and actions can bring an end to the suffering they have endured for much of the past year... having to worry on a daily basis about providing enough food for their children, or making sure they have the right medicines to treat them...

Today, many thousands of Libyans displaced from their homes, and the many hundreds of thousands more that have sought refuge in neighbouring countries in a desperate bid to escape the fighting in your country... Today their eyes are turned towards you, towards this gathering, in the hope that your words and actions will allow them to return to their homes and country...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nothing you do today can ever reverse the terrible pain inflicted on the people of Libya over the past year...

But it is within your hands, and none but yours, to spare the people of Libya, those very people whom you represent in towns and cities across Libya... it is within your own hands to spare them further tragedy.

It is within your hands, and yours alone, to heal the rift that has divided and torn your country apart, to put it firmly back on the path of democracy ... and resume the difficult process of building a modern, civil state based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, the People of Libya have their eyes on this gathering, on you in the hope that you save your country and your people from protracted conflict and from the campaign of terror and destruction that extremist and terrorist groups are waging in their bid to consolidate their control and influence in different parts of the country...

Recent terrorist and other attacks by these groups from Derna to al-Qubba, from Sirte to Misrata to Tripoli, to Soukna in the south and elsewhere in the country should serve as a wake-up call regarding the real danger confronting your country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I praise your courage and determination you have all collectively shown to fight to safeguard your country and interests, to achieve a better future for your children

After five months of long and difficult negotiations, you have instilled a sense of hope in the people of Libya that a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Libya is possible.

The time has now finally come for you to make the even more difficult decision to make peace and begin the process towards national reconciliation.

Shortly, you will be receiving the latest draft of the proposed political agreement that has been at the heart of your discussions over the past few months. I am full of hope that this draft represents a fair and reasonable way forward that can guide the country's democratic and political transition until the adoption of a permanent constitution.

The current draft provides a vision of the interim institutional architecture and security arrangements that will underpin the remainder of the transitional period. It focuses on providing these institutions with the capacity and tools they need to govern effectively while ensuring they remain bound by democratic principles, the separation of powers, and appropriate checks and balances.

While it goes without saying that no draft is likely ever to meet all the expectations of different parties in the current Libyan context, I am confident that the current draft goes a long way towards forging a common ground for a fair and reasonable political agreement that is based on consensus, balance and inclusion, and that can pave the way for a resumption of your country's democratic process. This is not an agreement of winners or losers, but one in which the only true victors are the people of Libya.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

You have before you a unique opportunity to pull your country back from the brink of protracted conflict and an endless cycle of violence.

The only viable way forward is for you to join hands and work side by side in shaping the future, and giving an opportunity to the people of Libya, all relevant actors, institutions as well as the army to turn a new leaf. For this to happen, the fighting must end. This is an undertaking that will always be anchored in a shared sense of belonging. Irrespective of political affiliations and loyalties, the fate of the Libyan people will always be indivisible.

Key in this undertaking will be an agreement amongst you here gathered today on a government of national accord that is representative of all Libyans, and that can start working quickly to assume its responsibilities in addressing the many difficult challenges facing your country, and working towards stabilising and restoring peace to towns and cities across Libya, beginning with its capital, Tripoli.

Steps will also need to be quickly taken to stem the bloodshed in Benghazi whose people have suffered immeasurably as a result of the conflict, and whose sacrifices over the years earned it the honour – rightly so – of hosting the House of Representatives as specified in the Constitutional Declaration.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I take this opportunity to assure you that you have the unequivocal support of all the other tracks of the Libyan political dialogue process: from municipal leaders, to political party representatives and political activists, women and youth activists and tribal leaders.

Key also will be the engagement of the security actors on all sides. Without their active support to this process, it is unlikely that meaningful progress can be made towards overall stabilisation. In this regard, I take this opportunity to commend the various ceasefire initiatives undertaken, and to pay tribute for their efforts underway to contain the growing threat of groups such as Islamic State. It is no coincidence that they have increasingly become targets of cowardly terrorist attacks by these groups.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In considering the draft before you, I urge you all to invoke the necessary spirit of flexibility, tolerance and compromise in order to reach a final agreement.

I ask you to avoid any statements or actions that undermine this spirit of collective responsibility, for you to uphold the national interest above all others considerations, and that we reconvene soon to conclude this process once you have all had the opportunity to consult with your respective constituencies and formulated an official response.

Let there be no mistake: reaching a political agreement will only be a first step towards recovery and reconstruction, and reconciliation. The difficult and complex process of implementation will then commence. But rest assured, you will have not only the support of all Libyan stakeholders, but also of the United Nations and the wider international community.

Let history and the Libyan people judge you as the brave and courageous men and women, young and old, whose bravery, courage and determination finally succeeded in bringing peace to their country.

Thank you.