Tripoli, Libya

11 October 2014

Note to correspondents – UNSMIL press release on Secretary-General's visit to Libya

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Saturday 11 October 2014 to urge Libyan parties to press forward with their nascent dialogue in order to restore stability to their crisis-ridden country.

“Much has happened,” Ban said, “since my last visit after the 2011 revolution when the country embarked on a new path full of hope for the future. But the conflict of the last few months, with its devastating violence and sharp political divisions, has caused untold suffering for the civilian population and has put Libya at the risk of losing all what has been achieved.”

The Secretary-General went on to say: “Libyans want the cycle of violence to end and long for stability and for the restoration of the political process so that they can build their state based on democracy, the rule of law and human rights, where differences can be resolved peacefully and not by coercion or the use of force.”

The Secretary-General’s visit comes after the successful efforts of his Special Representative, Bernardino Leon, and the UN Mission in Libya, to launch the dialogue among parliamentarians on 29 September. This dialogue, based on the principles of legitimacy, inclusiveness, and rejection of terrorism, is the first step towards resolving the country’s crisis.

“We must all work relentlessly to build on this,” the Secretary-General said, “The United Nations is facilitating this process, but it is the Libyans themselves who are taking the lead, and I urge them to seize this opportunity and press ahead.”

The Secretary-General, who was accompanied by his Special Representative for Libya, spoke at a meeting earlier today that brought together the Deputy President of Libya’s elected House of Representatives, Mr. Amohamed Ali Shoeab, other members of the House and parliamentarians who had not attended the House sessions. The Foreign Minister of Italy as well as special envoys of a number of countries were also present at the meeting.

“This gathering,” the Secretary-General said, “is a manifestation of international interest in seeing a peaceful and prosperous Libya emerge from the current crisis, for the positive impact such a recovery will have on regional security and stability.”

The United Nations Mission in Libya and the broader United Nations will continue to provide the required support to assist the Libyans, at their request, in the dialogue process and in achieving a political transition free of violence or intimidation.