Libya stands at a ‘critical juncture’, UN mission head tells Security Council

UNOCHA/Giles Clarke Graffiti on one of the walls in Benghazi destructed by the war

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Predicting that the “days ahead will prove foundational to the years ahead for Libyans and the region”, the top United Nations official in the country told the Security Council on Wednesday, that it was no exaggeration to describe the oil-rich nation as having reached “a crucial juncture”.

Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salamé, told Council members via videoconference from Tripoli, that the mission was working to both “prevent recent developments and tensions on the ground from escalating”, and “pivot to stability and a political compact” which would end the country’s crisis.

For most of the period since the 2011 overthrow of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the Mediterranean nation has been contested by various armed factions, leading to a breakdown of the economy, infrastructure and security across the country.

Mr. Salamé has been working to ease relations between the internationally recognized government of Prime Minister Faiez Serraj based in Tripoli, and the main rival authority led by the Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander, Khalifa Haftar in the east.

But efforts by the LNA to bring more stability and security to southern and western Libya in recent months, had been met with armed opposition in some areas, and in the east, fighting around Derna had resulted in reported human rights abuses, and “many civilian casualties”, Mr. Salame said.

Turning to the humanitarian situation, the Special Representative said that Libya’s infrastructure was deteriorating “at an alarming rate” with basic services eroding with water production “particularly fragile”.

Noting that some 823,000 people, including migrants and 248,000 children, need humanitarian assistance, he stated that a $202 million Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019 was launched on 5 February, to provide health, protection, water, and shelter to more than half a million of the most vulnerable people in Libya.

Election pledge, shows new ‘sincerity’

UNSMIL has supported two rounds of preparatory talks in its Tunis office between the advisors of Prime Minister Serraj and General Haftar, continuing a process that started in September 2017.

At the end of last month, in a meeting arranged by Mr. Salamé in Abu Dhabi, both agreed to work towards holding a general election as a precursor to a unified democratic Libya, with civilian control of the military; a move welcomed by the UN Secretary-General. The parties also agreed to unify Libya’s long-divided institutions and to schedule national elections before year-end.

“What is new is the sincerity to turn these words into the end of the transitional period through elections” observed the UNSMIL chief.

Meanwhile after many months, the UN opened a hub in Benghazi “to better deliver across the east of the country” he said, adding that for the first time since 2013, UN programmes have begun operating in Sabha and discussions are underway for a hub there to support operations in the south.

National Conference: A ‘critical opportunity’

A National Conference to be convened inside Libya from 14-16 April, “represents a critical opportunity” to end the eight-year transitional period, Mr. Salamé told Council members.

“There is much at stake”, he spelled out, citing the risks of “prolonged stalemate or conflict”.

The Special Representative argued that the Conference offers a real opportunity “to step back from the edge of this precipice” and for all parties “to put aside their differences for the good of the country, to unite, to avoid war and to choose a path of peace and prosperity”.

Moreover, it will decide whether to endorse the National Charter, which came from a consultative process; to chart a roadmap for concluding the transitional period; and to provide recommendations on how to deal with the Draft Constitution produced by the Constitutional Drafting Assembly.

Pointing to “a notable uptick in the weaponization of media platforms as tools of incitement”, he called on everyone to “refrain from the use of inflammatory and alienating rhetoric” and to “avoid acts of obstruction and incitement”.

“I also call on all in the international community to put the interests of the Libyan people first, and to act committedly and sincerely to pressure all parties to avoid conflict and conclude a peaceful formula to end the transitional period in Libya, for the sake of all”, concluded the Special Representative.        











the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

This new way of understanding disease is changing medicine

Action needed to end deadly clashes between African herders and farmers: UN chief

The four top Americans who flew to Europe perplexed things about Trump’s intentions

“A Junior Enterprise is run only by students.. there are no professors or managers that can help you solve your problems”

EU-India summit: Will the EU manage to sign a free trade agreement with India before Britain?

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

The German automotive industry under the Trump spell

Fight against climate change and poverty will fail without overhaul of global financial system, says major UN report

Eurozone closer to a deflation – stagnation trap

Why Commissioner Rehn wants us all to work more for less

Syrian Refugees in Germany face distinctly different challenges than those in Lebanon

Consumers suffer three defeats

Is a full course lunch, a new Commissioner and 2 million anti-TTIP citizens what you would call a “Fresh Start”?

What we take for granted: The EU is not perfect

Who the US and China have trade disputes with

EU makes key TTIP document public as protests get louder

ILO’s Bureau for Employers´Activities to publish new study on women in business and management

3 autonomous vehicle trends to follow in 2019

Second Facebook-Cambridge Analytica hearing: impact on privacy, voting and trust

This is what a planet-wide network of ocean sanctuaries could look like

EU budget: the Common Agricultural Policy beyond 2020

‘Global care crisis’ set to affect 2.3 billion people warns UN labour agency

Guatemala: UN anti-corruption body will continue working, as Constitutional Court blocks Government expulsion

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to Combat Climate Change

Why the ECB prepares to flood the markets with more and free of charge euro; everybody needs that now

This is our chance to completely redefine the meaning of work

Greece and Ukraine main items on EU28 menu; the course is set

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

EU Commission: Germany can make Eurozone grow again just by helping itself

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s speech from World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions

Press coverage of migration crisis in Europe: a call for collaborative action

Parliament demands ban on neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups in the EU

Climate change recognized as ‘threat multiplier’, UN Security Council debates its impact on peace

2 trillion drinks containers are made every year – so where do they go?

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Darfur: Inter-communal tensions still high despite improved security, Mission head tells Security Council

Brexit: when the hubris of one man can set the UK, the EU and the entire world on fire

Marking Sir Brian Urquhart’s 100th birthday, UN honours life-long servant of ‘we the peoples’

Mandela, ‘true symbol of human greatness’, celebrated on centenary of his birth

ECB’s first flight in Eurozone’s banking universe will be just a reconnaissance

Syria: ‘Violence, displacement’ and cold kill 11 infants ‘in the past two days’

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Bicycles for the environment, new leader for the UN General Assembly, UN values, Ebola, Syria and Libya

EU-China Light Bridge in Brussels signals the bright coming of the Year of The Dog

‘Never give up’: UN chief urges all who serve, marking UN Day

Venezuela: UN human rights office calls for ‘maximum restraint’ by authorities in face of new demonstrations

The EU Commission does nothing about the food retailing oligopoly

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

We need to talk about failure in the social sector

Long live Eurozone’s bank supervisor down with the EU budget supremo

Why Obama asks approval from Congress to bomb Syria?

UK voters sent strong message to May and Corbyn for soft Brexit

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Ban Ki-Moon Closing Address at COP21 Action Day Innovation, Imagination, Faster Climate Action

The 28 EU leaders show contempt for the European Elections results

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

Love unlimited

Medical students of today, technological doctors of tomorrow

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

European Youth Forum welcomes the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Union Code on Visas, however it does not go far enough

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s