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

National Statement delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on UNSMIL and Libya Sanctions, 16 November 2017, New York.

Mr President, Minister,

Thank you very much for your presence here this morning and for presiding over this important session. I appreciate it very much and thank you very much Special Representative Salamé, for your very valuable and informative briefing, and even more importantly for the commitment that you have shown, and that of the Secretary-General, to not only coordinate, but actively lead, the international community's efforts in support of peace and security in Libya. I also want to acknowledge the presence here of Foreign Minister Siala and thank him for being here and look forward to hearing your intervention later on.

We have consistently advocated for the United Nations to play the leading role in mediation and support efforts in Libya. The Secretary-General's vision for a reinvigorated and long-term UN approach provides the blueprint for our concerted action. Mr Salamé, you can count on our continued full support for your efforts to implement the Plan of Action for Libya.

We will continue to support efforts to amend the Libyan Political Agreement - which is the only viable framework for the transitional period into 2018 -, and to agree a reformed Presidency Council, with a view to preparing for elections and promoting national reconciliation. To this end, we welcome the proposed next steps that you have outlined for us today. We call, like others here, on all parties to engage constructively in this process and with you.

We welcome the participation of women in the drafting committee sessions in Tunis. Moving forward we reiterate the critical importance of women's representation and full and equal participation in each step of the process and that upcoming committee gatherings, as well as the National Conference, will provide opportunities for their concerns to be addressed, including regarding security, mobility and domestic violence.

Mr Salamé,

We took careful note of your pertinent observations on the depletions of funds and the management or perhaps mismanagement of Libyan assets. Like you, we are deeply concerned by the widespread abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law being perpetrated by all sides - from Derna and al Abyar in the East, to Wershefana in the west - almost always with complete impunity. Summary executions, kidnappings, torture, rape and other forms of sexual abuse must stop and be investigated, and those responsible must be brought to justice. In the absence of accountability, these crimes also contribute to a dangerous spiral of revenge and retaliation that threatens the promise of peace in Libya.

I want to thank you for stressing these issues today, and we encourage UNSMIL to step up its human rights monitoring. I also took careful note of your thoughts on how justice can be improved.

We welcome the first visit to Libya by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in October. We share his grave concerns, expressed by others here today, about the suffering of migrants and refugees, and conditions in detention facilities. Clearly, further efforts are needed to turn these facilities into open transit centres that meet international standards. Support is also needed for the important work being carried out by the IOM and UNHCR in Libya, and to find sustainable alternatives to detention, especially for vulnerable groups.

Mr President,

To conclude on this, stressed by all previous speakers, we must now seize the window of opportunity that exists to advance the political process in Libya, and to lay the foundations for long-term peace and stability. It is essential that all Libyan actors engage constructively and for the good of the Libyan people, and that this Council and the wider international community come together in support of these efforts.

Thank you

Contact

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