The status quo in Libya is our common enemy [fr]
Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 18 January 2019
At the outset, I would like to thank Mr. Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his detailed briefing on the most recent developments in Libya and, more broadly, for his exemplary commitment and that of his team. I also wish to thank Ambassador Juergen Schulz for his first briefing on the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya since Germany took over its chairmanship from our Swedish partners.
As the Special Representative explained to us, preparations for the national conference are ongoing. I would like to reiterate France’s full support to the Special Representative in the implementation of his revised action plan, which was collectively endorsed at the Palermo conference. The goal set in Palermo to convene the national conference as soon as possible so as to organize national elections by the spring must be met. We share the Special Representative’s position with regard to the importance of the early commitment of the key Libyan actors. To that end, as that deadline approaches, we must increase the pressure on those actors so that they commit to respecting the results and to implementing the recommendations. A broad political consensus is vital to making the long-awaited elections a driver of peace and not a new source of tension.
We remain concerned about the security situation on the ground and the continuing terrorist threat, as reflected in the attack by Da’esh on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tripoli, which we strongly condemned. Struggles for influence among militias also continue on the ground and the situation between the Ministry of the Interior and the militias in Tripoli is tense. The new escalation of violence seen in Tripoli in recent days makes the genuine implementation of security arrangements more urgent and more necessary than ever.
Like my British counterpart and several other colleagues, we once again commend the efforts and the commitment of the Special Representative and his strong engagement on the security track. The security arrangements for Tripoli must be effectively implemented with our support. In that regard, the unification of the Libyan armed forces under the control of civilian authorities remains an urgent and top priority.
In that context, it is also essential that the economic reforms continue. They should focus as a matter of priority on the devaluation of the Libyan dinar, reform of the subsidy system, streamling public employment, the collegial functioning of the Central Bank of Libya and its reunification and the transparent management of Libya’s resources to the benefit of all Libyans. The report of the Secretary-General (S/2019/19) reflects that some improvement in the economic situation has been noted by the Libyans, which is clearly very encouraging.
In that context, I would like to reiterate once again that all those who threaten peace, security and stability in Libya or obstruct the political process are liable to international sanctions. That also holds true for those responsible for smuggling migrants and trafficking in human beings, as well as economic predation and the misappropriation of public funds, against which the Security Council must continue its action.
Finally, as has been said, the humanitarian situation also remains very dire, in particular the plight of migrants and refugees, who are subject to human rights violations, as is also very clearly described in the Secretary-General’s report. France reiterates its calls on the Libyan authorities to do their utmost to ensure that migrants and refugees are treated with dignity. We encourage them to continue their cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration, to revise the law on refugees and to establish a refugee registration system in order to protect them. That is a priority in order to protect human rights and combat organized crime.
The status quo in Libya is our common enemy, since it opens the way for all kinds of threats, predatory behaviour and trafficking. There is therefore an urgent need to make progress towards a political settlement. It is crucial to maintain our full support for the efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and the Special Representative to break the institutional deadlock and to advance the transition in Libya. In follow-up to the Paris conference, the Palermo conference reaffirmed the unity of the international community in support of the directions proposed by the Special Representative.
Only an integrated strategy that addresses political, economic and security issues as well as elections, with a clear and ambitious timetable, can anchor stability. Upholding the commitments made by the Libyan actors is therefore essential in order to emerge from the status quo. It is vital that we support all those efforts. Rest assured of France’s determination to that end.