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Statement by Ambassador Jürgen Schulz on the occasion of the launch of the IPI-Report "From the Ground Up: UN Support to Local Mediation in Libya" - January 26, 2018

26.01.2018 - Press release

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Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

  • It gives me great pleasure to welcome you in the German House for the launch of the newest report of the International Peace Institute “From the Ground Up: UN Support to Local Mediation in Libya.” 
  • I think it a very timely report: Just last week SRSG Salamé briefed the Security Council on the implementation of his Action Plan for Libya. Our hope of course is that it will revitalise the Libyan political process. 
  • In the Council, the SRSG also referred to the role of UNSMIL in local mediation. He specially mentioned the numerous dialogues between local communities formerly in conflict that the Mission facilitated. 
  • The IPI report we are discussing today looks precisely at this endeavor: It assesses the success of UNSMIL in assisting local mediation efforts as an integral part of the political process.  
  • One of the conclusions of the report is that UNSMIL could be even more involved and more successful in local mediation in Libya if they were not to operate mainly from outside the country.  
  • And as if UNSMIL had already read the report, SRSG Salamé announced that a part of the UNSMIL staff has now returned to Tripolis.  The compound and the protection arrangements of the mission have been made prepared for this return over the last months. UNSMIL’s gradual return to Tripolis will hopefully help to boost its involvement in local mediation even more. 
  • More generally, the report underlines how difficult the task of mediation is, especially in a frayed and fractured society such as in Libya.
  • At the same time, mediation is an essential tool for peacebuilding. Because only through reconciliation and dialogue on all levels will we be able to reach and eventually sustain peace.  
  • This is why, for Germany, mediation and mediation support are one of the key instruments of our crisis prevention, stabilization and peacebuilding efforts. To this end, we established our own Mediation Unit in our Foreign Ministry. In 2017 we spent 45 Million Euros on very concret mediation projects.
  • We also very much welcome the Secretary-General’s initiative to enhance the UN’s mediation capacities both at United Nations Headquarters and in the field, and to support regional and national mediation efforts.
  • We are backing this politically, but also very practically: Last year, we supported the Department for Political Affairs and the Mediation Support Unit with more than USD 6 million.
  • But clearly, for mediation to succeed, we do not only need resources. We need critical and new thinking. I hope personally, that this report in front of us and our discussion today will make a contribution in this respect.
  • I want to thank IPI, the authors of the report as well as DPA for their contribution to today’s event and look forward to a fruitful and interesting discussion with you.

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