Statement by Amb. Schulz at the Security Council Meeting on Libya

04.09.2019 - Speech

Thank you Mr. President. Let me extend our best wishes for you for your presidency and let me thank Poland for their successful presidency.

The continued flow of arms into Libya in open breach of Security Council Resolutions harms the Libyan people, this body’s authority and must end. It also weakens the readiness of the conflict parties to negotiate, undermining SRSG Salamé's mediation efforts. 

We again urge all States to immediately take the necessary measures to ensure the full and strict implementation of the arms embargo. Noncompliance with the sanctions regime has great consequences for Libya. And we therefore urge all UN Member States to immediately halt any arms deliveries. The illicit flow of arms needs to stop, and it needs to stop now! Otherwise we will see even more escalation to come.

Secondly, on the political way ahead, there is no military solution for Libya. What Libya needs right now is  an immediate ceasefire and negotiations between the conflict parties – and a push in that direction by all external actors having influence on the parties. We reiterate our firm support for SRSG Salamé and his team for their important and tireless work under such difficult and dangerous circumstances. We will work to renew and strengthen UNSMIL's mandate in the next few weeks.

We strongly support the 3-Step-Plan that SRSG Salamé has proposed to this Council in his last briefing in order to revive an inclusive political process under UN auspices. We commend the commitment of the parties to the truce during Eid al-adha and the substantial reduction of violence during that period. This positive first step must now be extended to a prolonged and lasting cease-fire.

We ask all international actors to support the implementation of the 3-Step-Plan, bring about a real ceasefire and use their influence to bring all parties back to the political process.

Thirdly, the conflict in Libya, fueled by the ongoing flow of arms - in violation the arms embargo imposed by this very Council - has caused a humanitarian disaster. Especially the most vulnerable in conflict-affected areas as well as migrants and refugees need immediate protection.

We strongly condemn all attacks against civilians, civilian infrastructure and health workers and again urge all parties to the conflict to comply with International Humanitarian Law to avoid further casualties and protect the lives of civilians.

We welcome the decision of the Libya authorities to close three detention centers, important that closures are gradually implemented and those set free be supported by Libya authorities and international humanitarian organizations.

Fourthly and lastly, we want to especially thank Ms. Marwa Muhamed for her very informative briefing about the situation of women in Libya today – civil society plays an important role in reporting crimes, protecting women, building supportive networks and giving women a voice.

We strongly condemn sexual violence perpetrated against migrant women and girls. The absence of a central authority and the lack of accountability for crimes of sexual and gender-based violence is alarming and contributes to the general insecurity and climate of fear.

The abduction of House of Representatives lawmaker Siham Sergawa is a case in point. It shows how dangerous it is for women to participate in the political process in Libya these days in a climate of reprisals against women who speak out or get involved in political and social activities. We need to see her swiftly return so that her voice can be heard. Her case is a stark reminder that the involvement of women in political processes and peacebuilding is absolutely critical.

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