Statement of SRSG Ghassan Salamé to the Forth Meeting of the African Union High-Level Committee on Libya
Brazzaville, Republic of Congo – 9 September 2017
Mr. President of the Republic of Congo and Chairman of the High Level Committee of the African Union on Libya,
Distinguished Presidents members of the High Level Committee,
Mr. President of the Commission of the African Union,
Leaders and Parliamentarians of dear Libya,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to convey the warm greetings of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who wants you to know, through me, his immense interest in the partnership between the United Nations Organization and the African Union and his determination to continue and develop our mutual support for peace and security on several currently enflamed areas.
On behalf of myself and the UN Mission in Libya, I especially thank HE President Sassou Nguessou for his personal commitment to conflict resolution and, in particular, for holding this large conference. Your recognized wisdom, Mr. President, and your long experience can only help to make the voice of reason, the sense of compromise and the urgency of agreement prevail.
It is not surprising that the African Union is turning its attention to one of its most active member states and is trying to help it emerge from the rut. Your High Level Committee is the very proof of solidarity of this great continent with the Libyan people in this difficult phase of their history. With you, we hope to pursue helping our Libyan friends to reserve for their children the peaceful and prosperous future to which they are entitled.
I would also like to commend the regular coordination between the United Nations, the African Union, the League of Arab States and the European Union within the framework of the Quartet for Libya which our four organizations have jointly established, as well as my very useful contacts with the neighboring countries of Libya.
Today's meeting is, in our view, an important and positive step towards the high-level meeting on Libya scheduled in twelve days in the margins of the UN General Assembly, at which the Secretary -General will propose a strategy and plan of action on Libya to all member states of the Organization. We have already begun this action as soon as we have arrived on the ground in Libya, with the cooperation of Libyan personalities from all parties, an action we intend to pursue with determination, armed with your support and adhesion of the Libyan people.
The Plan of Action that the Secretary-General will propose on this day will be precise in its stages, dates and content. I hope that he will be able to benefit from your support so that we can implement it quickly. We have come to Brazzaville with the conviction that this meeting will be, after other recent meetings in Cairo, Rome, The Hague or La Celle-Saint-Cloud, not to mention all, a truly qualitative stage on the road to peace and reconciliation.
It seems to me that this is a good time to engage firmly in a process to end the crisis and the Libyans should of course accept and engage in this process. The people are tired of the crisis, painfully affected by the constant decline in the quality of their life, primarily due to the absence of environment of security and tranquility to which they are entitled, not to mention the more serious dangers represented in the terrorist groups that seek to take advantage of the present failures to carve a place for them in Libya and this is far from being achieved having been definitively neutralized since their defeats in Sirte and Benghazi.
The international community cannot remain deaf to the calls of the Libyan people and, in particular, cannot miss the opportunity that seems to take shape before us to initiate a process that ensures effective return of peace and to reconstitute strong and sustainable national institutions. But we need to do this within the framework of the Security Council resolutions, with reference to the December 2015 Political Agreement to which appropriate amendments can and should be made, and in harmony with the institutions emanating from this Agreement as well as from the will of the Libyan elector.
And above all, we must act in unison, in a spirit of non-competitive coordination, in an approach of complementarity not unilateralism, with the primary aim of helping our Libyan friends not to find themselves in further division.
Act fast, act strongly but particulalry act together. This is the meaning of my presence here today, for which I renew to the inviting authority the expression of my profound gratitude. It is also the meaning of our important meeting on 20 September, in which the Secretary-General of the United Nations hopes to meet all of you.