‘Move from Reaction to Action’ with Practical Measures That Help Restore Order, Country’s Permanent Representative Urges 15-Nation Body
The Security Council today heard a briefing by the Chair of its Libya Sanctions Committee, detailing steps taken to prevent the illegal diversion of arms, adjust its sanctions list and facilitate access to the strife-ridden North African country by the Panel of Experts which monitors those measures.
Olivier Nduhungirehe (Rwanda), on behalf of Chair Eugène Gasana, presented the report of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya, which covered the period between 16 September to 17 December 2014. “The Committee has been reaching out to Member States more actively than usual during the past three months,” he said, detailing steps it had taken in following up on 15 of the recommendations made by the Panel of Experts.
In that connection, he said activities between 25 September and 24 November included drawing attention to the new approval requirement for arms supplies to the Libyan Government, the high risk of diversion and misuse of arms in Libya, and post-delivery requirements. Other steps taken included: updates to Sanctions List entries; a request to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for help in facilitating the Panel’s access to Libya; a letter to the representative of Libya relating to five Panel recommendations; a request for information from Algeria on a listed individual; and a request to Oman in connection with the travel ban measure.
On 10 October, he said, the Committee issued a note verbale to all States drawing attention to additional designation criteria set out in resolution 2174 (2014) and encouraging submission of information on individuals and entities that met those criteria. Guidance on arms embargo-related matters was issued on 13 October, including to end-users of exempted material in Libya, while on 24 November, an update was made to Implementation Assistance Notice no. 3, relating to inspections and seizures of arms and related material in implementation of the arms embargo.
As for follow-up to information and requests received by the Panel or Member States, he cited letters sent to the Permanent Representatives of Libya and Sudan to the United Nations, on 26 and 24 September respectively, following a public statement by the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding ammunition deliveries to Libya. On 14 November, the Committee held its second formal meeting which featured a discussion with the representatives of Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Malta, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia and Turkey on sanctions implementation.
In addition, he noted that the Committee had also responded to two requests for guidance in relation to the arms embargo, and had received one notification that did not meet the necessary requirements, as laid out in the relevant implementation assistance notice.
Following the briefing, Ibrahim O.A. Dabbashi (Libya) expressed hope that suggestions made in consultations would be approved and carried out by the Committee. He called for transparency with his Government, especially vis-à-vis information exchange. To be sure, sanctions had not been taken against the legitimate Libyan authorities. The Libyan army was waging war against terrorists, and thus, the Council should help it obtain the necessary weapons, which he guaranteed would not reach any other party.
“There is a need for a clear and frank position by the Security Council that leaves no space for misinterpretation or false hopes for those fighting against the legitimate authorities,” he said. “There is one legitimate authority represented in the elected House of Representatives.”
He said armed groups were attempting to remove the legitimate authorities, rule by force and control the country’s resources in order to finance terrorism, both inside and outside the country. The Council’s efforts to stop the fighting and encourage dialogue would not bear fruit unless it stopped dealing with those parties as equals. It must call on the armed groups to stop fighting, surrender their weapons and leave the cities. More broadly, it must call on States to assist the Libyan army in its struggle against terrorism. “It is time for the Security Council to move from reaction to action,” he said, and pre-empt events with practical measures that would help Libya restore order.
He said efforts by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to help the parties agree on a cessation of hostilities and create a united vision of the future that incorporated a democratic path had not borne fruit. Libya was close to the situation prevailing in mid-2011, when a military solution was the only answer. Today, the House of Representatives was extending a hand, but the militias — which included supporters of Al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS) — continued to occupy State institutions and conspire with other countries to destroy the House of Representatives and gain control of oil exports.
He urged the Council to help the Libyan army obtain weapons and equipment needed to defeat terrorism and return State institutions to the legitimate authorities. The Council should also charge the Secretariat with creating a plan for building State institutions and restoring stability, to be implemented as soon as the army regained control of those bodies. In addition, the drafting of the Constitution must be completed and elections held as soon as possible.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:34 a.m.