Statement by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Libya – Libya
At the request of the Secretary-General, I arrived in Libya on December 12 to lead the United Nations good offices and mediation efforts and engagement with Libyan and international stakeholders to continue the implementation of the three pillars of the dialogue. intra-Libyan: political, security and economic. –and to support the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya. Over the past ten days, I have had the honor of meeting hundreds of people from all parts of Libya, and traveling from Tripoli to Misrata, Sirte and Benghazi. These broad consultations in Libya included meetings with representatives of national and municipal institutions, political, security and civil society actors, as well as election candidates.
I was particularly happy to witness the shift from a discourse of conflict to a discourse of peaceful dialogue. Even those who, last year alone, bore arms against each other continued to rally. Tangible progress has been made since the signing of the ceasefire agreement in October 2020 and the adoption of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum roadmap in November 2020, both facilitated by the United Nations. The ceasefire holds and relative calm reigns throughout the country. I was able to travel on the coastal road between Misrata and Sirte, reopened thanks to the leadership and efforts of the 5 + 5 Joint Military Commission. I had the pleasure of participating in a meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank and his Deputy to discuss concrete steps to fully reunite this vital sovereign institution and look forward to the full implementation of the recommendations from the audit of the two branches of the bank. Despite the many hardships endured by many Libyans, including in southern Libya, and the appeals of those still displaced by the conflict that has torn the country apart over the past 10 years, I have met many Libyans who have regained a sense of normalcy. I have heard stories of separated families finally able to travel to visit relatives, a development made possible by the ceasefire and the resumption of flights and the reopening of roads.
I have also heard time and again the overwhelming desire of Libyans to go to the polls to determine their future and end the long period of transition by holding inclusive, free, fair and credible elections. I have also heard their sincere hopes that the elections must be part of the solution and not part of the problem in Libya, as also noted by the Secretary-General.
On December 22, the High National Electoral Commission announced that despite its technical preparation, it was not able to meet the date of December 24, 2021 set by the political roadmap for national elections. Citing difficulties related to the inadequacies of the electoral legislation and the process of contesting and appeals relating to the eligibility of the candidates, the Commission asked the House of Representatives to set another date for the first round of the presidential election in within thirty days in accordance with the law, while taking the necessary measures to deal with the difficulties encountered in the completion of the electoral process. The United Nations takes note of the Commission’s recommendation to the House of Representatives and welcomes its commitment to the ongoing electoral process and to the continued examination of the candidatures of candidates for parliamentary elections.
I am ready to work with relevant Libyan institutions and the wide range of stakeholders to address these challenges through good offices and mediation. I call on the institutions concerned to honor and support the will of the 2.8 million Libyans who have registered to vote. To contribute to a solution to the political crisis in Libya and to lasting stability, the presidential and legislative elections must take place under appropriate conditions, on an equal footing among all candidates to peacefully end the political transition and transfer power to democratically elected institutions.
The current challenges of the electoral process should in no way be used to undermine the stability and progress made in Libya over the past 15 months. I strongly urge the institutions concerned and all political actors to focus on the electoral process and on creating the political and security conditions to ensure the holding of inclusive, free, fair, peaceful and credible elections, the results of which will be accepted. by all parties.