Statement by Sweden at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNSMIL (and Libya Sanctions)


National statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, UNSMIL (and Libya Sanctions), 17 January 2018, New York.

Mr President,

I would like to thank you, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ghassan Salamé, for your briefing to the Council today and for your valuable efforts. We strongly support your work and that of the United Nations in Libya. I would also like to welcome the inspiring briefing from Ms. Hajer Sharief. I thank you, Ms. Sharief, for bringing the essential voice of civil society, particularly that of Libyan women, to the Council. We commend your efforts in a truly challenging environment.

We have consistently advocated for the United Nations to play the leading role in the mediation efforts in Libya. And, we are particularly encouraged by the recent visit of Under-Secretary-General Feltman. Continued high-level UN engagement in Libya is important for a reinvigorated, inclusive and long-term approach in support of the Libya-led political process.

Special Representative Salamé, you can be assured of our full support as you continue to implement the United Nations' Plan of Action for Libya. We are encouraged by your flexible and pragmatic approach, while remaining committed to the Libyan Political Agreement as the only viable framework for the transitional period.

After years of conflict and violence, rebuilding trust between communities is an essential prerequisite for rebuilding the country. We welcome the bottom up approach to promoting reconciliation and unity – at local as well as national level. We agree with you that is also a crucial part of laying the foundation for elections. We are encouraged by the progress made to date in the voter registration exercise, with almost 2 million voters now registered by the High National Election Commission. We urge all Libyan political leaders to engage constructively in the election preparations and to help create the necessary political, legal and security conditions for elections in 2018. All Libyans have a right to live in a democratic state that upholds the rule of law and respects human rights.

Mr President,

Ms. Sharief has eloquently and forcefully communicated the indispensable role that women are already playing in building trust and reconciliation in Libya. Let me join her in reiterating the importance of women's fair representation and full participation in each step of the political process going forward. We welcome the participation of women in the drafting committee sessions in Tunis, and expect that upcoming gatherings, as well as the National Conference, will be inclusive and will also provide opportunities for Libyan women's concerns to be addressed, for example on issues of security and mobility.

Such an inclusive peace process will open up opportunities for a more just peace, and is more likely to be perceived as representative and legitimate by the population at large. In Libya we now need to seize the momentum and place women's full enjoyment of their rights at the core of international peace and security. This is not a women's issue. It is a peace and security issue.

Mr President,

We remain deeply concerned about the suffering of migrants and refugees in Libya. Every effort must be made to safeguard those - who have fled their home countries in search of refuge or a better future - from human rights abuses and violations. We reiterate our call for full and unhindered humanitarian access to detention centers and for further efforts to turn detention facilities into open transit centers that meet international standards. In addition, investigations into crimes committed, including slave trade, as well as accountability for those responsible, is crucial. As a preventive action and to promote changes in behavior - we remain open to exploring the possibility of using sanctions to target smuggling and trafficking in persons.

Finally, Mr President, the assets of the Libyan people must be managed properly so in the future they can be used for the benefit of all Libyans. For this reason, we are concerned about the issue of the management of Libya's frozen assets and indications of a depletion of these funds. We, [in our national capacity,] are committed to working with the United Nations and partners to explore ways of improving current situation.

Thank you.


Lisa Laskaridis
Head of Press and Communication, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
Phone +1 212 583 2543
Mobile +1 917 239 0941
email to Lisa Laskaridis