Swedish Statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNSMIL
National statement delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL and Libya Sanctions, 5 September 2018, New York.
Let me thank SRSG Salamé for his sobering but clear assessment of the volatile situation in Libya, as well as for his successful efforts to halt the most recent escalation of violence.
I will focus my statement on the security situation in Tripoli, its connection to the political process, and the humanitarian situation for the civilian population.
Firstly. We are deeply concerned about the escalation of violence in Tripoli last week with many civilian causalities, including children among the dead and injured. We join the Secretary General and others in condemning all violence and indiscriminate shelling by armed groups. These acts constitute violations of International Humanitarian Law and violations or abuses of International Human Rights Law.
The ceasefire brokered by the United Nations must now be actively supported. We urge all parties to respect and implement the agreement, including to end all hostilities, protect civilians and re-open Mitiga airport. Safe and unhindered humanitarian access must also be ensured, and those civilians who wish to leave must be allowed to do so.
Countries with influence over the parties must ensure that they deliver on their commitments, and those groups who did not attend the mediation meeting yesterday should be urged to join the ceasefire agreement immediately. We remind those who threaten peace and stability in Libya that they will be held accountable. We remain open to exploring the use of the sanctions instrument in this regard.
The continued flow of illegal arms risk fueling the escalation of violence and increases the suffering of the civilian population. In my national capacity as Chair of the Sanctions Committee, I therefore call on all UN member states to honor their obligations under relevant resolutions and fully implement the sanctions, including the arms embargo.
Secondly. Recent developments demonstrate the lack of commitment and progress towards a political solution as well as the dangers of the security vacuum. Actors that benefit from instability and status quo are actively hindering the political process. This cannot be accepted, and must be countered. We now hope that the ceasefire agreement can be built upon to further the broader political process.
Efforts to provide the conditions needed for free, fair, inclusive and credible elections, crucial for the democratic process in the country, must be stepped up. In this regard we call on the House of Representatives to honor its commitment to help ensure a legal basis for elections.
We encourage the SRSG to push ahead and exhaust all legal avenues and options to move the political process forward. Efforts to promote transparency, accountability and unity of the financial institutions are also an important part this. The SRSG has set this out extensively and clearly again today. The Council must stand fully behind the SRSG in these important endeavors.
A sustainable political process in Libya requires full and equal participation of women. To this end, we encourage UNSMIL’s work with networks of politically active Libyan women, with the aim to promote nomination of women in the elections. Another meeting of the Council’s expert group on Women Peace and Security will be convened on Libya this fall, to follow up on how the Council can best support these efforts.
And Thirdly. We welcome UNSMIL’s reporting on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. The dire situation in Libya’s detention facilities - including its migrant detention centers - and prisons, continues to be of deep concern. The reports on arbitrary detention, torture, and sexual and gender based violence in for instance Mitiga, Zuwara, Abu Salim and Eastern Libya, are unacceptable. Such violations and abuses must immediately come to an end.
Humanitarian access must be ensured, violations must be investigated, including of alleged summary executions, and those responsible for such crimes must be held to account. The Libyan authorities must also fully implement The Human Rights due diligence policy and ensure proper vetting processes.
Now is a decisive moment for Libya. The Security Council and the broader international community must rally behind the UN Special Representative, support the urgent implementation of the UN action plan, and respect the leading role of the Unite Nations in the mediation efforts. It is critical that we continue to stand united in our support.
We support the issuance of a Press Statement, as suggested by the UK, to capture the unity of the Security Council and the support to the SRSG’s efforts.