Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks on the launch of the United Nations strategy on Libya at the high-level event on Libya, in New York today:
Allow me before starting to say that I believe this meeting can have an historic significance. When one looks at today’s situation in the world, we see protracted conflict situations everywhere. We see new conflicts that emerge or re-emerge, like recently in Myanmar. And we badly need to find solutions.
It is my deep belief that there is an opportunity for a political solution in Libya. I do believe that we all need to come together — independent and sometimes different opinions, different perspectives, different interests — we all need to come together to make sure that this opportunity translates itself into a reality.
The Libyan people have suffered too much. The Libyan people deserve peace and to live in democracy and prosperity. But, on the other hand, we are all aware of the impact of the Libyan crisis, [that there] has been a dramatic impact in the region and further afield, and that to solve the Libyan crisis must be a priority not only for the neighbours, not only for the African and European continents, but I would say for the whole world.
It is, I repeat, my deep belief that circumstances are now created in a way that allow for a solution to be possible. I don’t think we can miss this opportunity. I want to ask all of you to commit very strongly to a common effort to make sure that we do everything we can to help our Libyan friends to come together and to find a future of peace, democracy, freedom and prosperity.
Thank you for coming together to coordinate efforts to bring peace and stability to Libya.
Six years since Libyans expressed a deep desire for greater freedom, the path to realizing those aspirations remains extremely difficult. I commend the people of Libya for their perseverance amidst highly volatile circumstances.
I am deeply concerned about the political, security, socioeconomic and humanitarian situation in the country. But, as I said I am also convinced that today there is an opportunity to end a protracted crisis that has caused immense suffering and contributed to the instability beyond Libya’s borders. We must all seize this moment.
The Libyan Political Agreement remains the transitional framework. There is no military solution. Violence has only dimmed hopes for peace, undermined institutions, damaged Libya’s vast economic potential and exported instability to the region.
Looking ahead, it is crucial to fashion a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political solution. The United Nations is strongly committed to helping Libyans build stability, security and national unity. This will also help address broader regional and international issues such as terrorism, violent extremism, instability and migration.
The United Nations strategy for achieving these goals has seven main priorities: First, reinvigorating an inclusive political process by building on recent positive developments. Second, building credibility with the Libyan people. Third, strengthening security arrangements and national security architecture. Fourth, coordinating international engagement, including the efforts of Libya’s neighbours, so that all are part of a single common agenda. Fifth, improving socioeconomic conditions and the provision of goods and services, for a true peace dividend to be felt by the people. Sixth, supporting migrants and upholding long-standing international norms on migration. Seventh, securing predictable support for humanitarian assistance.
My Special Representative will strive to unify and consolidate the various initiatives, and to promote dialogue towards the formation of a unified national Government and the immediate end of parallel institutions. Unifying military and security institutions is critical.
The United Nations system in Libya is identifying and implementing programmes to support these efforts. We intend to increase our presence in the country, with a rotation of personnel into Tripoli, extending gradually to other parts of the country, as soon as conditions permit.
For my part, I will mobilize international stakeholders, including the international financial institutions, to support both the political process and economic recovery. The African Union, the League of Arab States and European Union will continue to be key partners. Our plan of action depends on trust, leadership and political will among all involved. Together, let us show our unequivocal commitment to the Libyan people under the United Nations umbrella.