UNSMIL Statement on the resumption of intra-Libyan political and military talks

10 Oct 2020

UNSMIL Statement on the resumption of intra-Libyan political and military talks

Tripoli 10 October 2020 - Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Stephanie Williams is pleased to announce the resumption of inclusive intra-Libyan talks, based on Security Council resolution 2510 (2020), which endorsed the conclusions of the Berlin Conference on Libya held on January 19, 2020.

In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in order to protect the health of the participants, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) will be held according to a hybrid formula, through a series of virtual sessions as well as face-to-face meetings.  In these challenging times, UNSMIL is deeply grateful to the government of the Republic of Tunisia for hosting the first face-to-face meeting of the LPDF in early November, following the preparatory virtual consultations.

The overall objective of the LPDF will be to generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to the holding of national elections in the shortest possible timeframe in order to restore Libya’s sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions.

The decision to convene an expanded and inclusive LPDF follows weeks of extensive engagement with key Libyan and international stakeholders.  The LPDF will be based on the progress and the consensual views emerging from the recent consultations among Libyans, including the Montreux recommendations and the understandings reached in Bouznika and Cairo. The LPDF also builds upon extensive consultations held as part of the National Conference Process, which highlighted the shared Libyan demand for: an end to the transitional period; the holding of national elections; and, the establishment of an effective executive body that can provide basic services to the Libyan people.

Participants in the LPDF will be drawn from key Libyan constituencies, based on the principles of inclusivity, fair geographic, ethnic, political, tribal, and social representation, and with a firm commitment to the meaningful participation of Libyan women and youth. UNSMIL will strive to ensure broad consultations, transparency, and a rights-based approach during this Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process in which multiple voices will be heard.

In advance of the in-person political talks in Tunisia, UNSMIL will convene LPDF participants through preparatory virtual meetings, starting on 26 October.  The virtual meetings will also include consultations with large segments of the Libyan society, including youth, women and municipalities, who will be requested to offer concrete recommendations to the LPDF participants. 

Responding to the recommendation received from a great majority of Libyan constituencies, UNSMIL has made it a requirement for the participants to the LPDF to recuse themselves from political and sovereign positions in any new executive arrangement and to convene in good faith, with a spirit of cooperation and solidarity in the interest of their nation and to refrain from the use of hate speech and incitement to violence.

The United Nations will hold direct, face-to-face talks between delegations of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) in Geneva beginning on 19 October, with the hospitality of the Government of Switzerland.  The JMC 5+5 talks will build on previous deliberations and on the recommendations that emerged from the meeting held in Hurghada from 28 to 30 September, hosted by the Egyptian authorities, under UNSMIL auspices. The United Nations urges a complete stand-down of all military maneuvers and reinforcements to enable an agreement on a lasting ceasefire, including a demilitarized zone in central Libya, as well as to create the space for constructive political discussions.

Prior to the convening of the LPDF, the United Nations will facilitate consultations between delegations of the House of Representatives and the High Council of State on constitutional matters in Cairo between 11 and 13 October with the hospitality of the Government of Egypt. We expect the delegations to discuss legal and constitutional options which may be put forward to the LPDF to facilitate the deliberations on the constitutional arrangements going forward.

UNSMIL strongly welcomes the constructive political and material assistance offered by the members of the international community and the tangible contributions made by all of Libya’s neighbors to build confidence and consensus among the Libyan parties, and looks forward to engaging further with all regional and international stakeholders in moving the process forward. UNSMIL also welcomes the renewed commitments by all participants in the 5 October ministerial meeting on Libya, co-hosted by the Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister of Germany. The United Nations urges all Libyan political and military actors to demonstrate leadership by committing unequivocally to support this process. The United Nations calls on all Libyans to take full advantage of this window of opportunity to restore lasting peace, security, prosperity, human rights and accountability for the Libyan people who have endured years of protracted conflict and political fragmentation.