UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Libya remarks - meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Switzerland - 01 July 2021
Distinguished members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), ladies and gentlemen, welcome back.
Today is 1 July. We all understand the importance of this date.
Before we start, allow me to recap where are we in our work.
We had a difficult session yesterday. Tensions and emotions were high- naturally, as what is at stake is unity, stability, peace, and sovereignty of Libya. Nonetheless, disrespectful behavior and personal attacks cannot be tolerated. I urge you to respect each other and to remain committed to working constructively with each other and with the United Nations, to deal with each other respectfully, for the sake of your country and your people, who expect you to lead by example, to represent in your behavior and steps mutual understanding and reconciliation of differences.
All of you many times spoke about the need for national reconciliation. It starts also here, in your behavior and deeds, and inclusive, free and fair national elections are also a part of this healing process, based on justice and accountability.
I hope that you will restore an atmosphere conducive to reaching an agreement that can honor the commitments you made in the roadmap, notably holding parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 December. This is the unequivocal mandate that the Libyan people gave you, that it also reconfirmed by the UN Security Council and the Berlin Conference. There is no alternative to the holding of the national elections in December this year
As the facilitator, we took on board your request to provide sufficient time for you to reach a solid compromise. We have been able to obtain an extension of this meeting by an extra day from the Swiss government – our kind hosts. I would like to ask you to join me in acknowledging the gracious hospitality and support of the Swiss authorities that provide a space for you to make critical decisions for the future of your country.
One of the ways to respect our hosts and each other is to fully respect Covid-related regulations. We all wish all of us influenced by Covid a rapid recovery. As you might know, my own Covid case is the only reason why I am not with you today in person, with regrets.
I hope we will make good use of this additional time. We are all here to facilitate a compromise on the constitutional basis needed for holding national elections on 24 December, spelled out clearly in your Roadmap.
Failure to deliver such compromise is not an option, as all, we understand what that would mean for your country and its people. The status quo is inherently unstable and full of risks, with strong conflict potential. You must not join other instances and institutions, that for the time have failed to deliver what is needed for holding the national elections on 24 December.
This session is your chance to live up to the commitments which you have made to the Libyan people when you adopted the Roadmap, supported by Security Council resolution 2570 and the Conclusions of the Second Berlin Conference. The international community sees no other way to unity, stability, sovereignty, and prosperity of Libya than the way based on holding the national elections this December.
I, therefore, ask you to focus strictly on reaching an agreement on the constitutional basis that will enable the holding of elections. A physical meeting has been requested by you to reconcile the outstanding issues in the proposal of the LPDF Legal Committee which you could not settle in the virtual meeting of the LPDF on 26- 27 May.
There is no time and no good reason for broadening the discussion, for introducing additional issues, that can stand in the way of holding of the elections. As many of you have requested repeatedly, we must return to the framework that was clearly set out in our invitation to this meeting,
As agreed in the meeting last night, we put forward options for you to express your preference on a mechanism to establish a small team to help the LPDF to reach a compromise by going over the different proposals and trying to bridge the outstanding points of differences, controversy.
Overnight and this morning 45 of you have voted, and 25 agreed to option A which stipulates that every 5 LPDF members nominate one person while 19 voted for option B which gives every proposal the right to nominate 6 representatives and 1 person voted for option C.
As such, option A is the option we intend to use to move forward with our discussion. We are now waiting for your nominations to finalize the composition of this committee.
This committee will then meet for three hours to reconcile the outstanding points in the legal committee proposal.
Meanwhile, here in the plenary, we will finalize the discussion on the decision-making mechanism to adopt a constitutional basis for the elections.
The Committee will then return to the plenary and present the results of its deliberations.
We will then open the floor for 1 hour only to enable observations on the Committee’s deliberations.
By the end of today, we need to have a conclusion on the decision-making mechanism and we strongly hope that you will be able to reconcile the differences.
I wish you courage, patience, wisdom, and success in your deliberations, that’d reconfirm your critical, leading role in moving the country towards holding the national elections on 24 December 2021.