Remarks by Ambassador Jürgen Schulz in the Informal Interactive Dialogue of the Security Council on Libya, June 2, 2020

02.06.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Let me start by saying that the full implementation of the arms embargo remains, unfortunately, a key issue that this Council needs to address.We all are aware of the evolving situation in Libya. It is dire, indeed, and it is not getting better. Rather, it's getting even worse, which is a very sad reality. This is why we cannot afford to send mixed signals regarding our resolve to protect the Libyan population.

We must not accept the disrespect for this Council's resolutions. We all know that there are many reports on alleged arms embargo violations over the past weeks as well. We condemn those violations in the strongest possible terms and they unfortunately feed the military narrative and prolong a conflict that cannot be won by military means. 


Turning to  operation Irini itself: we had a couple of discussions already on Irini. I do recall the consultations we had  also in the presence of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, we had a good discussion with Pedro Serrano and now we have a discussion with DSG Fries. I think this shows the readiness and the openness to discuss this issue and so to basically address all the issues that Council members want to address. 

Let me just say a few general things on where we stand with Irini. Against the backdrop of the presentation we just listened to, the EU has mobilized considerable resources to implement the will of this Council. The EU remains the only actor operating under Resolution 2292 and subsequent resolutions at this point in time. Operationally, Irini has been launched and is already to a certain extent quite successful.

It has conducted, as we just heard, numerous hailings.. Its presence is an effective deterrent and we see very fruitful cooperation with the panel of experts. Very recently, a case of attempted illegal transfer of oil could be prevented. Operation Irini will not be the panacea and not the overall solution for the implementation of all issues with regard to the arms embargo. But it will significantly contribute to its implementation.

With ongoing fighting and escalation on the ground, we need to uphold more than ever the strict implementation of the arms embargo. Operationally, IRINI's naval capabilities are complemented by aerial recognition, providing a means of monitoring an important source of information, not just for this Council but also for the Sanctions Committee and the Panel of Experts. After all, Resolution 2292 and its subsequent resolutions are not directed at the EU specifically. They are a call to action for, “member states acting nationally or through regional organizations”. This responsibility, in other words, lies with the entire international community. As DSG Fries has illustrated in a convincing way: the mandate of operation IRINI is well-balanced and it is in line with the framework set forth by the Security Council. There is a real prioritization of tasks with a clear focus on the arms embargo. The EU as swiftly and efficiently reacted to the evolving situation on the ground.

We, Germany, have no doubt that the Council resolutions will be implemented and will be implemented properly. For that reason we call for the support of all council members to ensure a swift and smooth technical rollover of Resolution 2473 for 12 months. We feel that is appropriate and necessary, and we feel that we must demonstrate that this Council is doing everything in its power to restore peace and stability in Libya.

Before I conclude, just another word on one different issue, but I think it is worth mentioning, we are still discussing the very important issue of the succession to former SRSG Salame. We feel that it is high time that we get to a decision on this issue. We very much commend the work and the efforts of acting SRSG Stephanie Williams. She has been a terrific job, but we do need to solve this issue. The mission of Libya requires a steady and predictable course of action to further the efforts of the three-track Working Group. Therefore, we reiterate our call for the swift nomination of a new SRSG.

Top of page