|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Deputy Secretary-General, Addressing African Union Peace and Security Council,
Stresses Need for Joint Regional, UN Efforts to Ease Libya Transition
Following is UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro’s statement to the African Union Peace and Security Council meeting on Libya in Addis Ababa, 26 August:
I am very happy to join you at such a critical moment. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in today’s meeting, and we applaud the African Union’s strong leadership in convening such a meeting at what is a delicate stage of the conflict.
The United Nations is closely following the dramatic events unfolding in Libya, and we hope that they will soon reach a turning point. The conflict and human suffering must end, peace and security must be established and the Libyan people must be afforded a brighter future of democracy and growing social and economic prosperity.
Let us acknowledge, as well, [that] in responding to this complex and deeply unfortunate crisis, there have been differences; differences between the African Union and other nations and regional organizations; differences among those of us in this hall today. Now is the moment, however, to look to the future.
My message today, on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is simple and direct. The African Union has always been one of the United Nations’ most important strategic partners and will remain so. In Libya, you have been unrelenting in seeking a peaceful solution — and you are instrumental in helping Libya to rebuild its future. Here today, I want to reaffirm what the Secretary-General has emphasized consistently: When the United Nations and the African Union work together, we succeed.
Throughout the Libyan crisis, the Secretary-General has been in close contact with African leaders, including African Union Chairperson Jean Ping. Later today, the Secretary-General will convene a meeting with the heads of the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the European Union. We are pleased that Mr. [Erastus] Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, will participate in person.
As the people of Libya are striving to open a new chapter, we look forward to our continued cooperation. We count on your support. We count on your partnership and we count on your continued strong leadership. Together, we must unite in helping Libya to build a sustainable peace and to make a smooth and inclusive transition to democracy.
Together, we must encourage the new leadership to undertake every effort to protect civilians and public institutions, to maintain law and order, and to promote national reconciliation and unity. And to do so, we must help the country’s new leaders to establish an effective, legitimate Government — a Government that represents and speaks for all the country’s diverse people, a Government that can deliver on its people’s hopes.
The Secretary-General has taken note of the Chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC) and the other NTC leaders’ public affirmations of their intent to build a new nation founded on the principles of “freedom, equality and transparency”. In conversations earlier this week with the Secretary-General, the Chairman agreed fully on the need for national unity, reconciliation and inclusiveness.
Meanwhile, the United Nations is proceeding with its plans to respond to any request that Libya itself might make for post-conflict assistance. The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General for post-conflict planning, Ian Martin, has been working to anticipate potential needs and to make the operational preparations for our response. In Doha on Wednesday, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Libya, Abdel-Elah al-Khatib, along with Mr. Martin, met with the NTC leaders to discuss these plans in greater detail.
In addition to immediate humanitarian assistance, particularly as it relates to medical help, they placed special emphasis on early support from the international community for elections, transitional justice and policing, as well as longer-term assistance in social and economic reconstruction, rule of law and institution-building. These are but a few of the various areas requiring our joint efforts and collaboration.
It is important, as we move into the post-conflict phase, that we all continue to work closely in a coordinated manner. As always, our partnership is vital and indispensable.
Let there be no doubt, the people of Libya can count on us, working together, to help them through the difficult but very promising times ahead.
* *** *For information media • not an official record