19 January 2020

Remarks at joint press encounter with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following Libya Conference

António Guterres

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Chancellor Merkel and the German Government for convening this conference.

Dear Chancellor, your consistent, continuous and I would say enthusiastic commitment to support all the efforts to bring peace and stability to Libya are absolutely remarkable and as Secretary-General of the United Nations I want to express my very deep appreciation and gratitude.

Today in Berlin, Member States – along with regional and international organizations – have sent a strong signal that we are fully committed to supporting a peaceful resolution of the Libyan crisis.

Allow me to briefly touch three points.

First, I cannot stress enough the Summit’s conclusion that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya. All participants have mentioned it several times during the meeting, even though they are not directly involved in the conflict itself.

Today, all participants committed to refrain from interference in the armed conflict or internal affairs of Libya. This is part of the conclusions and of course this must be adhered to, as well as the call to silence the guns with the termination of all military hostilities.

Second, we called on all actors to refrain from any activities exacerbating the conflict.

I urge all participants and the international community to abide by their commitment to unequivocally and fully respect and implement the UN Security Council arms embargo.

Third, the return to the political process is essential.

We urged all Libyan parties to engage in a Libyan-owned and Libyan-led dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations, paving the way for a political solution to the crisis.

I have to say that the three tracks that were defined – the economic track is fully moving, the first meeting of 22 economies took place in Tunis, the second meeting will take place in the next two or three weeks, and they started to look into the central aspects of the economic reform the country requires, namely, unification of the central bank, the questions related to the investment authority, to the national oil company and to all relevant aspects to make sure that it is possible to have normal economic governance in Libya.

The second track is the military commitment and thanks to the Berlin meeting it was possible today to receive the five military delegates of the side of Marshall Haftar, and we had already three and now we have two more on the side of the GNA. We are now in conditions to convene the military committee in the next few days. Finally, there is good progress, both in relation to the House of Representatives and the State Council, for the choice of their representatives to the political forum that will also include a number of names selected by the United Nations Special Representative, and we hope that that will allow also this political track to move forward in the near future.

I also welcome the Summit’s call on all parties in Libya to fully respect international humanitarian and human rights law, to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.

I hope the commitments made today will create the conditions for a lasting solution to the Libyan crisis.

It is our collective responsibility to seize this opportunity and to ensure these commitments become a reality. 

I want once again to thank Chancellor Merkel and to thank all of you.