Libya: Only an inclusive political solution will allow to ensure lasting security [fr]
Libya - Statement by Mr François Delattre, permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 21 May 2018
I thank the Special Representative, Mr. Ghassan Salamé, for his briefing and once again pay tribute to his tireless efforts to move forward the political transition in Libya. I would like here, on behalf of France, to reiterate to him once again our full and unwavering support. My thanks go also to the representative of Sweden for his briefing on the work of the sanctions Committee.
The first point I wish to make pertains to political stability and reconciliation in Libya. As the Special Representative told us this morning, he is continuing his consultations throughout the country as part of the national conference process, which is aimed at encouraging reconciliation and fulfilling the conditions necessary for elections to take place.
We have kept a very close eye on the popular consultations that have taken place in more than 20 Libyan cities as well as the different channels of political and military dialogue that the Special Representative is working to harmonize. We welcome this complex and demanding undertaking, which is being carried out throughout the country and makes it possible to consult the Libyan people as to aspirations concerning the future of the country. These efforts are vital for reducing tensions and achieving an inclusive political solution on the basis of the Skhirat Agreement.
Consensus has emerged in Libya on the need to revive the process of democratic transition through elections. Elections are the best way of creating positive momentum in Libya. The popular enthusiasm reflected in the registration of almost 2.5 million voters is a positive sign. The holding of general, free, credible, transparent and democratic elections in 2018 will require the creation of an adequate political and security environment and a commitment by all segments of society to respecting the outcome. The holding of early municipal elections in Zawiya on 12 May with a good turnout rate of 62 per cent is very encouraging.
The status quo is unacceptable. It is now the responsibility of all Libyan political stakeholders to respect popular opinion, which is in favour of elections being held.The second point I wish to make concerns developments in the security situation as well as the terrorist situation, which remains a genuine threat to Libya. As we are all aware, the security obstacles in Libya are myriad and the situation on the ground remains volatile, as demonstrated by the attack carried out on 2 May against the High Commission for National Elections in Tripoli, which we unequivocally condemned. The situation remains tense in Sabha, with clashes between the Tebu and Awlad Sulayman communities. In Derna, it is of vital importance that the civilian population be protected.
France condemns all terrorist acts perpetrated in Libya, which are intended to destabilize the country. We call on the Libyan people to join together to fight that scourge. We must foster dialogue among the armed forces in order to unify them under a single civilian authority. Here I pay tribute to the Cairo efforts made to that end, in support of the mediation efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
Only an inclusive political solution will allow us to vanquish terrorism and ensure lasting security. Such a solution must include national reconciliation, institutional unity and the strengthening of the State, which must be capable of exerting control over the entirety of its territory.
My third point concerns the predatory economy, a cancer afflicting that country that is eating it from the inside. The many actors profiting from the situation are promoting instability, and the various forms of trafficking that abound in Libya fuel this predatory economy, which entrenches the status quo and weakens the State. We must collectively reflect on ways to break this vicious circle once and for all. For the time being, our efforts are focused on the European Union military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean, Operation Sophia, which is aimed at combating trafficking in migrants and violations of the arms embargo. We are also taking action at the level of the Security Council to combat the illicit export of crude and refined oil, as well as arms trafficking. It is vital also that the Libyan economic and financial institutions, in particular the Central Bank and the National Oil Corporation, be safeguarded, and the issue of the Central Bank’s governance clarified. We will remain active within the Security Council to consider all of the tools available to us to curb these illegal activities and the resulting misappropriation of the country’s wealth.
This brings me to my final point: the plight of migrants who are transiting Libya. France’s position is clear: we believe that those responsible for trafficking in human beings and the smuggling of migrants must be subject to sanctions within the existing United Nations sanctions regime. In that respect, France has worked together with its European and American partners, with the support of the Libyan Government, on the adoption by the Security Council of sanctions targeting migrant smugglers. We hope to soon be able to reach a consensus and to ensure that a list in that respect is adopted by the sanctions Committee.
We must join forces in the face of acts that are not only repugnant but also deeply destabilizing for the country and the region. I therefore appeal to all members of the Security Council to shoulder their responsibility on this key issue, which is a priority for France.
I should like also to commend the headway made by the United Nations, European Union and African Union task force, which meets regularly and is making tangible progress on the implementation of the Abidjan road map. We are continuing our dialogue with the Libyan authorities to facilitate assisted voluntary returns, overseen by the International Organization for Migration, and to enhance cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.