Statement by Ambassador Byrne Nason at UNSC Briefing on Libya
Statement24 March 2021
Thank you very much indeed Madam President, and I want to also say welcome and thank you to Special Envoy Kubis for his briefing this morning.
The endorsement of the Government of National Unity by the House of Representatives on 10 March was indeed a welcome step towards unified institutions and national reconciliation.
Ireland welcomes the historical political milestone-as Jan Kubis called it this morning- the Government’s formal swearing in on 15 March, as well as its firm commitment to holding inclusive elections on 24 December. We hope to see the new Government accord the highest priority to preparations for those free and fair national Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Ireland and its EU partners are ready to assist in whatever way we can.
We wish Prime Minister Dbeibah, his government and the Presidency Council well. We commend former President Serraj for his leadership and his facilitation of a smooth transition of power.
The new government now must work together to provide improved basic services, especially health care and provision of electricity. This will demonstrate to the Libyan people themselves that they will be directly benefitting from political change.
Ireland welcomes the appointment of women to senior ministerial positions. We hope that the thirty per cent target set out by the LPDF will be achieved at the earliest opportunity. As women delegates themselves to the LPDF have said, we must ensure that political participation by women is empowered and effective, as well as full, equal and meaningful.
Ireland urges the Libyan Government to restructure and to activate the Women’s Empowerment Unit and also to ensure that it is adequately staffed and resourced.
Ireland also encourages the Libyan Government to facilitate a safe operating environment for all of civil society to undertake its crucial work freely and effectively.
I want to thank the Secretary-General and his team for the report on the ceasefire monitoring preparations, which we know now must be a Libyan-led process. We welcome the openness to have monitors from the EU and other regional organisations.
We urge further confidence-building measures, including the re-opening of the coastal road from Sirte and the creation of conditions for the safe and effective deployment of the monitoring mechanism itself around Sirte.
This Council should ensure that the proposed ceasefire monitoring arrangements fully integrate a gender perspective and we encourage continued dialogue with women’s organisations on that point.
Ireland reiterates the need for effective implementation of all provisions of the 23 October Ceasefire Agreement, in particular the immediate withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries.
I welcome the publication last week of the Panel of Experts Report, and in this context, reiterate our call for an end to breaches of the UN arms embargo.
As acknowledged by the Panel of Experts, the EU’s Operation Irini has provided support to the Panel’s investigations. Operation Irini works impartially, and in accordance with the relevant Resolutions of this Council.
Ireland calls for further progress on the human rights track. This Council should highlight the need for accountability, including in respect of the massacres at Tarhuna, as well as credibly documented work by human rights organisations and the GNA. Ireland strongly supports the work of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Libya and welcomes the willingness expressed by the Libyan government to engage and cooperate with the FFM.
This Council should condemn threats, attacks and killings of women leaders, including women human rights defenders.
My country shares concerns about the continued detention of migrants at unofficial centres and urges further action by the Libyan authorities. We also urge access to these centres for international humanitarian organisations. We call on the Libyan authorities to put in place measures to protect and assist detainees who have suffered, or are at risk of, sexual and gender-based violence, including by transferring women detainees to facilities with sufficient female guards.
This Council should also urge the Libyan authorities to adopt anti-trafficking legislation and, with the support of the UN, we can work to strengthen Libyan rule of law institutions to ensure that allegations of sexual and gender-based violence can be effectively investigated and prosecuted.
In conclusion Madam Chair, I want to say that this is a time of hope and expectation for the Libyan people. We have faith in their commitment to travel on the difficult path to a peaceful future for all Libyans. We stand ready to do all in our power to support the people of Libya in arriving at that well deserved destination, as Jan Kubis said this morning, with determined political will and receptivity to the desires of the Libyan people themselves.
Thank you, Madam President.