Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the high-level event on Libya, in New York today:
I’m very much grateful to many ministers who are taking part in this meeting. Let me begin by welcoming our friends from Libya and the dialogue participants.
The violence of the past year and a half is leading Libya down a path of death, displacement and destruction. Terrorist movements are gaining a strategic foothold. The country has become a haven for criminals and human smugglers. Millions are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Sadly, this is largely the result of rival groups who insist on putting petty concerns above those of the Libyan people. They are denying their country a future and have made Libya a base of instability and a threat to regional and international security.
There is a better path, one that answers the Libyan people’s demands for peace, human rights, stability and a better future. Thanks to some brave Libyan leaders — a number of whom are with us today — Libya has a clear way forward, through a political agreement that seeks to fulfil the vision of the revolution that inspired so much hope just four years ago.
I also want to recognize my Special Representative, Bernadino León, and the UNSMIL [United Nations Support Mission in Libya] team for their painstaking and patient efforts. They have worked with a wide range of Libyan actors to find a consensual way out of the crisis — reaching out to political and military leaders, governing institutions, municipalities, tribes and civil society and women representatives and others.
Throughout the process, my Special Representative has based his work on the principles of non-interference in Libya’s internal affairs and respect for its national sovereignty. He has shown maximum flexibility in addressing the concerns of various parties.
Now the time for reopening the text has passed. For the first time since the revolution of 2011, Libyans have before them a negotiated, inclusive and workable political road map for the remainder of the political transition process. No agreement is perfect, but this document will help Libya move beyond the chaos and towards the creation of a stable and democratic State with a clear legal framework.
As we work to ensure that this text is accepted by the Libyans, let us be clear: all those who choose to remain outside this framework will be responsible for the consequences and suffering that will ensue.
You can see from the high-level attendance today from Member States and regional organizations, we are all committed to working with you and the Libyan people to support you as you rebuild Libya’s governing institutions.
I ask that you take this message of solidarity and support back home. The international community stands united in your collective efforts to choose peace over violence and stability over chaos.
You, in turn, must reject violence and conclude the dialogue without delay. I have had the privilege of visiting Libya twice since the 2011 revolution. I have been deeply impressed by the Libyan people’s spirit of determination and courage. Only when they are united can Libyans hope to build a country that reflects the spirit of the revolution and honours those who sacrificed so much.
Each of you has the power to build that new Libya and move the country forward with a Government of national accord. There is no time to lose. I have instructed my Special Representative to adhere to the agreed deadline of this General Assembly week to begin discussion on the formation of a new Government. He has assured me that the participants here today remain committed and will not go back on their word.
The Libyan people — and the world — await your action. Thank you.