Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The need for a sustainable security infrastructure in Libya
Statement given recently (18 January 2019) by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council briefing on Libya.
Thank you very much Mr President. Thank you for scheduling this briefing. Very good to hear from the SRSG so thank you, Ghassan for everything you’ve said. I wanted to start by thanking you also for restructuring the mission and for the enormous progress made on opening the offices. I think that’s really important. As you were saying it’s a good signal of the international community’s engagement with the people of Libya and what is happening there so thank you for that. And many thanks to the German Ambassador as well for the sanctions report. Germany is now co-penholder with us on Libya so obviously we look forward to working even more closely together.
I wanted to start Mr President by reiterating my government’s strong support for what the SRSG is doing and what the UN are doing on the ground. And our thanks to them for all their efforts. In particular, we support the SRSG’s approach to the National Conference. We believe it’s the best way of reaching an inclusive political settlement and one which stabilises the country and we hope that all Libyans should come together and engage in this process. And in particular, Mr President, we hope that a broad spectrum of Libyan society is represented at the National Conference. And we think we should work to ensure that and we look for participants to be drawn from as broader political, regional, tribal and ethnic spectrum as possible. And of course, as this Council always says on these occasions, we look for a proper representation of women. The Council has been united pretty well so far, Mr President, and we hope that we can rally to the UN action plan and we hope that we can help other members of the international community and ensure that the UN mission is able to implement the outcomes of the National Conference.
The SRSG referred several times to spoilers. And I think what the pattern of attacks he described and the sporadic clashes throughout the country obviously of great concern. I think the Council needs to be very clear, Mr President, Libya’s future cannot and will not be determined by spoilers who wish to maintain the status quo purely for their own gain while ordinary Libyan citizens continue to suffer. And the deteriorating situation on security that the SRSG described simply underscores how unsustainable the status quo is. So we believe, Mr President, that Libya’s political institutions need to work with the National Conference and take account of its outcomes. This will signal they have the best interests of the Libyan people at heart and that they’re committed to finding a durable political solution to the crisis. The Libyan people will find it very hard to understand if those institutions continue to fail to do what’s been asked of them.
I think, on the economy, I was very interested in what the SRSG said about oil. I think again we’ve got to support the UN mission and the international financial institutions in putting in place further economic reforms. I think we need even more targeted and effective sanctions against spoilers. The progress that’s been made with the Central Bank of Libya is also very welcome but obviously it needs to take place in parallel with work to reunify the Central Bank and the Central Bank in the east.
And finally, Mr President, on security, we do think the ceasefire is welcome, but it does look fragile. A sustainable security architecture right across the country will be necessary for Libya’s stability.
Thank you very much, Mr President.
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