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Libyan people continue to suffer from political stalemate: UK statement at the UN Security Council

Thank you, President and I thank SRSG Bathily and Ambassador Yamazaki Kazuyuki for their briefings today. 

We welcome the SRSG’s continued efforts to convene representatives of key actors for a preparatory meeting, as a critical next step towards breaking the political impasse and delivering elections. 

But as we heard from the SRSG, constructive engagement and genuine compromise from all sides are necessary for this process to be successful. We note that some of the actors have either refused to nominate representatives or have attached conditions to their attendance. So we echo the SRSG’s call on all parties to engage meaningfully with the UN process, without preconditions, and to meet under UN auspices to resolve the issues that are delaying elections. 

As I witnessed first-hand during my visit to Tripoli last year, it is the Libyan people who continue to suffer from this political stalemate. Nearly six months have passed since the devastating floods in Derna and reconstruction is hampered by the lack of a unified and transparent approach. Basic healthcare and other services are not functioning. 

The political stalemate also exacerbates the challenges civil society organisations face across Libya. We remain concerned by the shrinking of civil society space, the rise of human rights violations,  particularly towards migrants and refugees as the SRSG highlighted, and the increasingly restrictive environment for women.  

We welcome efforts by the High National Elections Commission to hold municipal elections across the country. However, we are concerned by reports that eleven HNEC field offices were forced to suspend operations in southern and eastern Libya at the start of February. We strongly urge Libya’s leaders to provide the necessary support to facilitate municipal elections, allowing Libyan people to exercise their democratic rights.

President, as the SRSG has asked, we need to put our collective effort and collective support behind building momentum towards elections. Libyans will benefit from a democratic, united, and stable state. So we urge Libyan leaders to engage constructively with the SRSG to fulfil their responsibilities to the Libyan people. And the UK will continue to work with partners and support the SRSG and UNSMIL towards this aim.

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