The humanitarian situation in Libya deteriorates [fr]
Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 17 January 2018
I would like to begin by warmly thanking Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ghassan Salamé for his very valuable briefing and commend his ongoing efforts to find a political solution. On behalf of France, I assure him of our full steadfast support. I also thank Ms. Hajer Sharief for allowing us to hear the voice of Libyan civil society. She stressed the importance, for Libya and in general, of enabling effective women’s participation in peace processes. Finally, I thank the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden for her enlightened briefing on the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya.
I would like to underscore three principal points.
1/ My first point is that, with regard to the political situation in Libya, the stabilization of the country is more than ever a priority for France.
The implementation of the Special Representative’s action plan is the key to easing tensions and achieving an inclusive political solution. We therefore continue to give our full support to Special Representative Ghassan Salamé in that endeavour.
The first positive steps have already been undertaken in the political process. Consultations between the two chambers have led to a consensus on key points in the revision of the Skhirat Political Agreement. That Agreement remains the only valid and legitimate framework throughout the transition, as the Council recalled in its statement of 14 December 2017 (S/PRST/2017/26). However, we must now go further. We must move forward in drafting the constitution and all stakeholders must remain engaged throughout the two next steps.
First, the inclusive national conference will be decisive, as it should make it possible to contribute to the national reconciliation of all Libyans and to garner the necessary political consensus for the success of the elections.
The second deadline is the holding of a transparent and democratic electoral process in 2018 that will enable the people of Libya to express themselves. As the Special Representative of the Secretary-General pointed out, the number of registered voters recently exceeded 2 million, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Salamé, who is making every effort to ensure the success of the elections. We congratulate him, and the international community must support a credible and transparent electoral process.
Mr. Salamé is actively making preparations for those two deadlines, and we can appreciate how lengthy the preparation process is. The Security Council must fully support him and call on all Libyan stakeholders to commit resolutely and sincerely to the implementation of its action plan.
That is the message of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, delivered to Mr. Al-Sarraj and Mr. Haftar when he visited Libya on 21 December.
2/ My second message, in the context of the volatile situation on the ground, is to insist that there can be no military solution in Libya and that all actors must convince themselves of that.
In recent days, radical militias have launched a worrisome new offensive in Tripoli, in the Sirte region where Daesh continues. France condemns such use of armed force. Defeating terrorism in Libya once and for all and ensuring sustainable security will require a political solution centred around national reconciliation and the restoration of a State with full control of all its territory. In that context, the Constitution and the building of a unified national security architecture under civilian authority is an absolute priority.
In this fragile security context, the economic and humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. The Council cannot ignore that situation, which weighs heavily on political balances. Our role is also to ensure that all Libyans can enjoy the country’s significant wealth. I am referring particularly to Libya’s oil resources, which should remain under the exclusive control of the Government of National Accord, pursuant to Council resolutions. We must not hesitate to strengthen the sanctions mechanism to fight against the parallel economy that stokes political divisions.
3/ Finally, I wish to address the situation of migrants passing through Libya, who are victims of serious human rights violations.
We are maintaining close dialogue with our partners and the Libyan authorities in order to make progress in fulfilling the commitments to ensure that migrants can received dignified treatment and in facilitating cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner as it relates to access to detention centres and the evacuation of refugees and migrants. The issue of migrations was also at the heart of our Minister’s visit to Libya on 21 December. The Council has highlighted the importance for perpetrators of such crimes to be prosecuted by the Libyan judiciary, but individuals responsible for human trafficking and the trafficking of migrants must also be sanctioned under the existing United Nations regime. We must continue to work together in that regard.
Moreover, Libya must meet its obligation to cooperate with the International Criminal Court and help it carry out its investigations and issue arrest warrants. That would be an important signal of the commitment of Libyan actors to international criminal justice and to the fight against impunity, which are essential for securing the trust of the Libyan population.
In conclusion, I note that all of our efforts must converge on supporting Mr. Salamé’s plan of action. The people of Libya, with the support of the international community, have a major interest in seeing their country advance towards national reconciliation and political consensus. In that regard, our support for the United Nations and our unity within the Council will be more important than ever if we are to successful navigate the different stages of the action plan. France pledges its full mobilization to that end.