The Security Council today welcomed the 17 December signing of the Libyan Political Agreement to form a Government of National Accord, and called on its new Presidency Council to form that Government within 30 days and finalize interim security arrangements required for stabilizing the country.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2259 (2015), the 15-nation body endorsed the 13 December Rome Communiqué to support the Government of National Accord as the sole legitimate Government of Libya. It called on Member States to cease support to and official contact with parallel institutions claiming to be the legitimate authority, but which were outside of the Political Agreement.
Such a Government, which should be based in Tripoli, was “urgently needed” to provide Libya with the means to maintain governance, and promote stability and economic development, the Council stressed. All Member States were requested to work with Libyan authorities and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to develop a “coordinated package” of support to build Government capacity.
In the area of security, the Council urged States to “swiftly assist” the Government in responding to threats and support it in defeating Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), with groups that pledged allegiance to it, Ansar al-Sharia and all others associated with Al-Qaida. Those engaging in or supporting acts that threatened Libya’s security — or undermined completion of the political transition — must be held accountable. In that context, the Council recalled the travel ban and asset freeze affirmed in resolution 2213 (2015).
For the United Nations, the Council requested the Secretary-General to maintain the flexibility to adjust UNSMIL staffing and operations at short notice in order to support Libya’s implementation of agreements and confidence building measures, and to report on implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement, including acts that disrupt or prevent its implementation.
After the vote, speakers welcomed the Libyan Political Agreement signed last week in Skhirat, Morocco, and underscored their support for the Government of National Accord that signatories pledged to create. Some called for parties who had not yet signed to do so and work with the new Government.
“The door is open,” said the United Kingdom’s representative, calling on them to cease support for parallel Libyan institutions claiming to be the national authority. However, if “spoilers” continued to obstruct the process, said France’s delegate, the Council would need to take urgent and appropriate action. More broadly, States must oppose terrorism in partnership with the new Libyan Government and its legal institutions, said Jordan’s delegate.
In that connection, the representative of the Russian Federation said he had supported the resolution, guided by the necessity of an immediate restoration of Libya’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. He urged the new Government to reach agreement with all influential political forces. All strata must “merge ranks” and eliminate the terrorist threat.
Rounding out the discussion, Libya’s representative said the Libyan Political Agreement was a “significant step forward” in his country’s history, representing the “highest common denominator” of what could be achieved. Success would depend on the armed groups, which he urged to agree to security arrangements. The new Government would give “pride of place” to the integration of those groups into State institutions, in line with international professional criteria.
More so, the Libyan Political Agreement had followed 14 months of difficult negotiations. “This is the only hope for restoration of State authority,” for emerging from bloodshed, and ensuring that reconciliation, justice and the rule of law prevailed, he told the Council.
Also speaking today were representatives of Spain, China, Venezuela, Nigeria and the United States.
The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:50 p.m.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) warmly welcomed the unanimous adoption of resolution 2259 (2015), in which the Council gave the full support to the Libyan Political Agreement signed last week and backed fully the Government of National Accord. Requesting the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to drive forward the process of the formation of the Government, he urged all who had not yet signed the Political Agreement to support it. The Political Agreement offered a Libyan-led solution to confront the crisis there, he said, underscoring that “the door is open and the hand of friendship extended”.
He paid tribute to the role of the United Nations in facilitating the Political Agreement. Now was the moment for all Member States to cease supporting institutions and groups which existed parallel to the Government. Doing so was essential to maintain the integrity of all institutions, including the financial institutions and the oil company. The Political Agreement came at a crucial time as terrorist groups such as Da’esh had threatened the stability in the region. Human rights were being violated and criminal gangs had increased. In adopting resolution 2259 (2015) the Council had given a strong collective sign of support to Libya under a single Government of National Accord. The huge potential of the Political Agreement should be realized for a prosperous future for all Libyans.
VLADIMIR K. SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation) said his country had backed the resolution, guided by the necessity for an immediate resolution to restoring the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Libya. Concerns aimed at ensuring a representative nature of the process had been taken into account. International support must be of a general collective nature. Noting his expectation that Libyans would start implementing the Political Agreement, he said the priority was for the future Government to reach agreement with all forces in the country. In addition, the Organization must cooperate with all to find a solution and ensure national reconciliation. He called on the Libyan people to merge ranks and eliminate the threats Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and other organizations were posing. Achieved unity in Libya would also help to solve the task of sustainable development.
FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France), also welcoming the adoption of resolution 2259 (2015), paid tribute to the Libyan negotiators who had overcome their own interest in order to serve the interest of the country. The political sequence “is not an arrival but a beginning”, he said, and one in which the United Nations would have a critical role to play in support of the future Government especially in tackling terrorism. There was no doubt that the new authorities would be quickly put to the test. Urging the “spoilers” to support the Political Agreement, he stressed that the Council should take quick action if they continue to hamper the process. More so, the Council had recently shown its vitality and capacity to take action. The year was ending with hope, with a resolution that opened up a real road to peace in Libya and offered a chance to eradicate Da’esh. “Let us be inspired by the spirit of togetherness and resilience, despite the tragedy in my country,” he said.
DINA KAWAR (Jordan) welcomed the signing by several parties of the Political Agreement in Skhirat, Morocco, and stressed the importance of assistance to the national Government. She expressed hope that the Political Agreement would be an important step in fostering security in Libya and improving the humanitarian situation. Underscoring the importance of international support for the new Government in all fields, she said States must ensure that no political vacuum be created; the Special Representative should consider such concerns. The Presidency Council should create the new Government within 30 days and “fine tune” security measures, especially as Da’esh had taken advantage of internal fighting to occupy strategic areas of the country. States must oppose terrorism in partnership with the new Libyan Government and its legal institutions based on the Skhirat accord. Libya’s integrity, territorial integrity and unity must be respected.
JUAN MANUEL GONZÁLEZ DE LINARES PALOU (Spain) said the resolution was a reminder to all parties in Libya to “get on board” with the new agreement. The accord must be strengthened through achieving the greatest internal consensus possible. It was critical that all parties cooperate in forming a Government of national unity, which was the only way to address the security and humanitarian crisis. For its part, the international community must work together to expand the Political Agreement so that a new Government could be established in a safe capital of a united country. Noting his country’s support for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), he also reiterated support for the process towards peace and unity, as well as for tackling human trafficking networks.
ZHAO YONG (China) welcomed the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement by various parties and the announcement of a Government of National Accord, noting that his country had always advocated a political settlement to the Libyan problem. He expressed hope that all parties would implement the Political Agreement, advance the political process, establish the Government of National Accord and achieve reconciliation. For its part, China was ready to join with all parties to foster peace and stability in Libya and the region.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) underscoring that the Political Agreement was the fruit of mediation efforts of the United Nations Mission in Libya, said he harboured hope that its signing would help to find a political solution to the conflict in Libya. That conflict had been due to the military intervention in 2011 which had, among other things, hampered economic development and the enjoyment of human rights. He also voiced hope that the Government of National Accord would be able to face the humanitarian and security challenges and to confront the groups operating in the North of Africa, including ISIL. The Libyan authorities must now work to ensure the promotion of the human rights of its citizens, he said, encouraging stronger cooperation with the International Criminal Court to ensure that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi be treated with due process. He also encouraged the new Government to take control over its natural resources and to ensure that those resources be used to help all Libyans. He called on those who had not signed the Political Agreement to join the process, in which the preservation of human rights must prevail over all personal interests.
U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria) also welcomed the signing of the Political Agreement on 17 December, which signalled a political solution to Libya. “The people had chosen the path to truth and to lasting peace”, she said. The parties must now begin to implement the Political Agreement in good faith. The resolution demonstrated the Council’s commitment to peace, security and stability in Libya and to confronting the challenges posed by ISIL and other groups. The people must seize the moment and opportunity to rebuild the country. All hands must be on deck to support Libya’s reconstruction.
SAMANTHA POWER (United States) said that over the last year, a broad array of Libyan dialogue had worked to create the new Government, including members of that country’s House of Representatives, General National Congress, political party leaders and independents. With today’s resolution, the Council affirmed their courageous efforts, sending a message that the Government of National Accord would be the sole Government. She urged all Libyans to unite behind the Government of National Accord and take advantage of the opportunity to work towards peace, stability and the rule of law. The door would remain open to those who wished to join the path to peace. For those seeking undermine the process, the United States would work with the international community to hold them accountable. The Political Agreement offered Libyans a chance to realize the opportunities made possible by the 2011 revolution. The United States and others would work with the new Government to ensure the implementation of the Political Agreement and to defeat ISIL affiliates.
IBRAHIM O. A. DABBASHI (Libya) said the Political Agreement signed in Morocco marked a “significant step forward” in his country’s history. Given that it had been achieved through negotiation, it could not achieve all parties’ aspirations. Nonetheless, it was the “highest common denominator” of what could be achieved. Resolution 2259 (2015) supported the Political Agreement and institutions that must be created, which would serve as the sole legal authority in Libya. He urged all parties to join and implement the Political Agreement, saying that the Council had not imposed anything. Nor had the Council created the Government or its Presidency. Rather, such achievements were the fruit of the House of Representatives’ efforts.
He said most Libyans understood that the agreement followed 14 months of difficult negotiations, adding that “this is the only hope for restoration of State authority,” for emerging from bloodshed and ensuring that reconciliation, justice and the rule of law prevailed. It was in the interest of Libyans “of all stripes” to back the new Government and implement the accord. Success would depend on armed groups and he urged them to agree to security arrangements. The national police also should resume its functions now that it was equipped with necessary weapons. For its part, the Government of National Accord would give “pride of place” to the integration of those groups into State institutions, in line with international professional criteria.
“Spoilers will not succeed,” he went on to say, underscoring that they must ensure that the interests of their country prevailed over their own. It should also be understood that the international community would help Libyans, under the aegis of the Government of National Accord, and bolster security as part of the counter-terrorist struggle. Indeed, Da’esh had integrated with Ansar al-Sharia and Al-Qaida, recruiting young individuals who followed social networks of those claiming to be pious. Any delay in the Political Agreement benefitted terrorists. Libyans yearned to see a Government of National Accord as soon as possible and a House of Representatives that functioned. They must unite to reject the idea of plots, as the international community had never plotted against them.
The full text of resolution 2259 (2015) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its resolution 1970 (2011) and all its subsequent resolutions on Libya,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya,
“Calling on all parties to armed conflict to take all appropriate steps to protect civilians, and recalling that all parties to armed conflict must comply strictly with the obligations applicable to them under international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law,
“Welcoming the efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to facilitate a Libyan-led political solution to address the political, security, economic and institutional crises facing Libya, including through the formation of a Government of National Accord,
“Welcoming the signing on 17 December 2015 of the Libyan Political Agreement of Skhirat, Morocco by the majority of the Libyan delegates to the UN‑facilitated political dialogue, and by a wide range of representatives of Libyan society, municipal leaders and heads of political parties, and recognizing the contribution of Member States to host and support the meetings of that dialogue, including the countries of the region in particular the Kingdom of Morocco for its efforts in advancing the Agreement, including through hosting the Libyan Political Dialogue,
“Recognizing the importance of the continued inclusiveness of the Libyan Political Agreement, and taking note of the letter circulated as document S/2015/1018,
“Strongly encouraging in this regard all parties in Libya to seize this historic opportunity to be part of and to engage constructively with the Agreement, in good faith and with sustained political will,
“Recognizing the need for assistance planning for a Government of National Accord and security arrangements, and recalling that Member States at the Rome Conference on 13 December 2015 underlined their commitment to provide technical, economic, security and counter-terrorism assistance,
“Expressing concern at the grave humanitarian situation in Libya and encouraging Member States to respond generously to the Libya Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016,
“Welcoming the efforts made by all participants in the UN-facilitated Libyan Political Dialogue and other tracks of the peace process, including the contributions of civil society, tribal leaders, local-level ceasefires, prisoner exchanges and the return of internally displaced persons,
“Urging the full, equal and effective participation of women in all activities relating to the democratic transition, conflict resolution and peacebuilding in line with relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 1325 (2000), 2122 (2013), and 2242 (2015), and in this regard welcoming the UN facilitation of meetings of women’s participation within the framework of the Political Dialogue,
“Recalling resolution 2214 (2015) and condemning the terrorist acts being committed in Libya by groups proclaiming allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) including those committed by individuals, groups, undertakings and entities designated as associated with ISIL or Al-Qaida by the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee (the Committee) and further reiterating grave concern about the negative impact of their presence, violent extremist ideology and deadly actions in Libya, neighbouring States, and the region,
“Reaffirming the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including applicable international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, including those committed by groups proclaiming allegiance to ISIL in Libya, and recalling, in this regard, the obligations under resolution 2253 (2015), and urging all Member States to actively cooperate in this regard with the Government of National Accord and provide support as requested,
“Condemning any engagement in direct or indirect trade, in particular of oil and oil products, modular refineries, and related materiel including chemicals and lubricants, with ISIL, and other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities designated as associated with ISIL or Al-Qaida by the Committee, and reiterating that such engagement would constitute support for such individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities and may lead to further listings by the Committee,
“Expressing its concern about the problem of smuggling oil products from Libya and calling on all Member States to cooperate with the Government of National Accord,
“Reiterating its grave concern at the recent proliferation of, and endangerment of lives by, the smuggling of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, in particular off the coast of Libya and into and through Libyan territory, recalling its resolution 2240 (2015) which condemns all acts of migrant smuggling and human trafficking into, through and from Libyan territory and off the coast of Libya, and urging all Member States to cooperate with the Government of National Accord to tackle this issue,
“Reaffirming the importance of holding accountable those responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law, including those involved in attacks targeting civilians,
“Recalling its decision in resolution 1970 (2011) to refer the situation in Libya to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and affirming the importance of the Government of National Accord’s full cooperation with the International Criminal Court and the Prosecutor,
“Expressing deep concern at the threat posed by unsecured arms and ammunition in Libya and their proliferation, which undermines stability in Libya and the region, including through transfer to terrorist and violent extremist groups, and underlining the importance of coordinated international support to the Government of National Accord and the region to address these issues,
“Further recalling the arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze and measures concerning illicit oil exports which were imposed and modified by resolutions 1970 (2011), 1973 (2011), 2009 (2011), 2040 (2012), 2095 (2013), 2144 (2014), 2146 (2014), 2174 (2014) 2213 (2015) (the Measures), and that the mandate of the Panel of Experts established by paragraph 24 of resolution 1973 (2011) and modified by resolutions 2040 (2012), 2146 (2014) and 2174 (2014) was extended until 30 April 2016 by resolution 2213 (2015),
“Encouraging the Government of National Accord to implement measures to increase transparency of government revenues and expenditures, including salaries, subsidies, and other transfers from the Central Bank of Libya, to ensure the long-term sustainability of Libya’s financial resources,
“Expressing concern about activities which could damage the integrity and unity of Libyan State financial institutions and the National Oil Company, highlighting the importance of these institutions continuing to function for the benefit of all Libyans, and stressing the need for the Government of National Accord to exercise sole and effective oversight over the National Oil Company, the Central Bank of Libya, and the Libyan Investment Authority as a matter of urgency, without prejudice to future constitutional arrangements pursuant to the Libyan Political Agreement,
“Emphasizing the need for all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and to respect the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance,
“Recalling its determination in resolution 2238 (2015) that the situation in Libya constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
“1. Welcomes the signature on 17 December 2015 of the Libyan Political Agreement of Skhirat, Morocco to form a Government of National Accord consisting of the Presidency Council and Cabinet supported by the other institutions of state including the House of Representatives and State Council;
“2. Welcomes the formation of the Presidency Council and calls upon it to work expeditiously within the 30 days stated in the Libyan Political Agreement to form a Government of National Accord, and to finalize interim security arrangements necessary for stabilizing Libya, and in this regard calls upon Member States to respond urgently to requests from it for assistance;
“3. Endorses the Rome Communiqué of 13 December 2015 to support the Government of National Accord as the sole legitimate government of Libya, stresses that a Government of National Accord that should be based in the capital Tripoli is urgently needed to provide Libya with the means to maintain governance, promote stability and economic development, and expresses its determination in this regard to support the Government of National Accord;
“4. Requests that all Member States fully support the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and work with the Libyan authorities and UNSMIL to develop a coordinated package of support to build the capacity of the Government of National Accord, in line with Libyan priorities and in response to requests for assistance;
“5. Calls upon Member States, particularly those in the region, to continue to urge all parties in Libya to engage constructively with the Government of National Accord and all other institutions included in the Libyan Political Agreement and calls upon Member States to cease support to and official contact with parallel institutions that claim to be the legitimate authority but are outside of the Agreement as specified by it;
“6. Calls upon all Member States to respond urgently to requests for assistance from the Government of National Accord for the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement;
“7. Reiterates its support for the ongoing deliberations of the UN facilitated security track of the political dialogue to finalize security arrangements, and urges existing militias and armed groups to respect the authority of the Government of National Accord and its command structures;
“8. Emphasizes the importance of the Government of National Accord exercising control over, and safely storing arms in Libya with the support of the international community;
“9. Further calls upon the Government of National Accord to protect the integrity and unity of the National Oil Company, the Central Bank of Libya and the Libyan Investment Authority, and for these institutions to accept the authority of the Government of National Accord;
“10. Confirms that those individuals and entities engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya, or that obstruct or undermine the successful completion of the political transition to a stable, secure and prosperous Libya under a Government of National Accord, must be held strictly accountable, and in this regard, recalls the travel ban and asset freeze measures reaffirmed in paragraph 11 of resolution 2213 (2015);
“11. Requests that the Committee be prepared to list individuals, groups, undertakings and entities in Libya associated with Al-Qaida or ISIL;
“12. Urges Member States to swiftly assist the Government of National Accord in responding to threats to Libyan security and to actively support the new government in defeating ISIL, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Sharia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, upon its request;
“13. Calls upon the Government of National Accord to promote and protect human rights of all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction, including those of women, children and people belonging to vulnerable groups, and to comply with its obligations under international law;
“14. Calls upon the Government of National Accord to hold to account those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including those involving sexual violence, and to co-operate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the International Criminal Court and the Prosecutor as required by resolution 1970 (2011) and recalled by resolution 2238 (2015);
“15. Recalls resolution 2240 (2015) and urges Member States to cooperate with the Government of National Accord, and with each other, including by sharing information about acts of migrant smuggling and human trafficking in Libya’s territorial sea, on the high seas off the coast of Libya and rendering assistance to migrants and victims of human trafficking recovered at sea, in accordance with international law;
“16. Requests that the Secretary-General continue to maintain the necessary flexibility and mobility to adjust UNSMIL staffing and operations at short notice in order to support, as appropriate and in accordance with its mandate, implementation by Libya of agreements and confidence-building measures or in response to their expressed needs, and further requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council informed in his reports prior to any such adjustments;
“17. Affirms its readiness to review the appropriateness of the Measures, including the strengthening, modification, suspension or lifting of the Measures, and its readiness to review the mandate of UNSMIL, as may be needed at any time in light of developments in Libya, particularly outcomes of the UN-facilitated dialogue;
“18. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with the activities of UNSMIL, including allowing it free interaction with all interlocutors and to take necessary steps to ensure the security of as well as the unhindered movement and timely access for the UN and associated personnel;
“19. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council as appropriate on implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement, including acts that disrupt or prevent its implementation;
“20. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”