|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
7083rd Meeting (PM)
Security Council Issues Presidential Statement Expressing Grave Concern
as Situation in Libya Worsens, Urging Consensus-Building Dialogue
Expressing its grave concern at the worsening security situation and political divisions in Libya, the Security Council today reiterated its support for the North African country’s people and elected political institutions, underlining the importance of a single, inclusive national dialogue that could forge consensus around priorities for securing a transition to democracy.
In a presidential statement (document S/PRST/2013/21), the Council reaffirmed its strong commitment to Libya’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, encouraging Libyans’ “continued and firm” commitment to consolidating democracy and establishing a stable, prosperous State based on national reconciliation, justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law. It welcomed efforts by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to facilitate a meaningful, Libyan-led national dialogue, and strongly encouraged further steps in that regard.
The Council noted, in that context, that the adoption of a constitution would be crucial in providing the framework for a secure and prosperous future. It strongly condemned the killing of unarmed protestors in Tripoli on 15 November, emphasizing that all parties must reject violence. While noting the withdrawal of some armed groups from Tripoli as a positive development, it called for urgent progress towards an inclusive national approach to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration into civilian life, or integration into State military and security institutions.
Also by the statement, the Council supported the efforts of Libyan State forces to restore public security across the country and to counter violence by extremist groups, notably in Benghazi and Derna. Concerned over the use of force by armed groups against State institutions, it urged the return of illegally seized energy facilities back to the proper authorities. Further, it called on the Government to take concrete measures to control arms and ammunition stockpiles by ensuring their proper management, safe storage and effective disposal.
Finally, the Council emphasized torture and extrajudicial killing should not be tolerated, expressing its grave concern at the continued arbitrary detention of thousands of people held outside the State’s authority, and reiterating its calls for their immediate release or transfer to State detention centres.
Libya’s representative said today’s presidential statement emphasized the Council’s support for his country’s people and elected authorities in their efforts to accelerate the democratic transition and build State institutions. While the Government differed with some aspects of the statement, the text had resulted from long consultations and it was necessary to consider the views of all members.
The statement offered “a new message of backing” to the Government and people of Libya, he said, emphasizing that the latter had spared no effort to combat extrajudicial killings and inhuman treatment, of which there had been a considerable reduction in recent months. However, it was difficult to verify whether those practices had ended. He pointed out that Libya’s 30,000-member army lacked training and armament in a huge country crowded by armed groups that viewed police as their rivals. The National Congress and Government intended to strengthen State authority and impose the rule of law, he said, pointing out that the security situation was improving daily, especially in Tripoli. Libyans had demanded the dismantling and disarming of all armed groups, pressing national authorities to cease financing them, whether through salaries or through budgetary allocations. That would be carried out next month and it was to be hoped the effort would receive the Council’s full support.
The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:10 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2013/21 reads as follows:
“The Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya. The Council expresses its grave concern at the worsening security situation and political divisions, which threaten to undermine the transition to democracy that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people.
“The Security Council reiterates its support to the people of Libya, and encourages their continued and firm commitment to the consolidation of democracy and the establishment of a stable and prosperous State based on national reconciliation, justice, respect for human rights and rule of law.
“The Security Council welcomes the efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Tarek Mitri to facilitate a meaningful Libyan-led national dialogue in Libya and strongly encourages further steps forward in this regard. The Council underlines the importance of a single, inclusive national dialogue that can forge consensus on the priorities for securing a transition to democracy and help ensure that all views in Libya are properly taken into account.
“The Security Council reiterates its support to the elected political institutions in Libya. The Council notes that the adoption of a constitution will be crucial in providing the framework for Libya’s secure and prosperous future and emphasizes the urgency and importance of further progress in the constitutional process.
“The Security Council strongly condemns the killing of unarmed protestors in Tripoli on 15 November and emphasizes that all parties must reject violence against civilians and respect the right of all Libyans to peaceful assembly. The Council, while taking note of the withdrawal of some armed groups from Tripoli as a positive development, calls for urgent progress towards an inclusive national approach to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration into civilian life or integration into State military and security institutions. The Council encourages UNSMIL to continue to provide technical advice and assistance to Libya’s efforts on demobilization and reintegration.
“The Security Council stresses the urgent need to strengthen military and police institutions in Libya. In line with the needs and wishes of the Libyan people, the Council supports the efforts of Libyan State forces to restore public security across Libya and counter violence by extremist groups, in particular in Benghazi and Derna. The Council expresses its concern at the use of force by armed groups against State institutions, including the illegal seizure of energy facilities and smuggling of natural resources, urges the transfer of control of all facilities back to the proper authorities, and welcomes and encourages further efforts by the Libyan Government to resolve peacefully the disruptions of Libya’s energy exports.
“The Security Council expresses its concern at the threat posed by unsecured arms and ammunition in Libya and their proliferation, which poses a risk to stability, including through transfer to terrorist and extremist groups, and calls on the Libyan Government to take concrete measures to control arms and ammunition stockpiles in Libya by ensuring proper management, safe storage and, where appropriate, effective disposal of arms and related materiel and through strengthening border security, and in this regard urges neighbouring States to cooperate with the Libyan authorities’ efforts to secure their borders. The Council supports greater international efforts and increased coordination from the United Nations to provide assistance to the Libyan Government in this regard.
“The Security Council condemns cases of torture and mistreatment, and deaths by torture, in illegal detention centres in Libya. The Council emphasizes that practices of torture and extrajudicial killing should not be tolerated in Libya. The Council expresses its grave concern about the continued arbitrary detention, without access to due process, of thousands of persons held outside the authority of the State and reiterates its calls for their immediate release or transfer to detention centres under State authority. In this regard, the Council welcomes the recent transitional justice law promulgated by Libya’s General National Congress and encourages its full implementation. Expressing its concern about all human rights violations and abuses, the Council calls upon the Libyan authorities to investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators of all such acts, including those committed against children.
“The Security Council calls on all parties in Libya to support the democratic transition in Libya, including agreement on its immediate next steps, and to engage in political dialogue and refrain from violence and actions that challenge the stability of the State.”
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