Statement on the situation in Libya

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on the situation in Libya

Thank you very much Madam President, and thank you also to Special Representative Bathily for his briefing this morning. Special Representative, you can rest assured of Slovenia’s support for your efforts and for a UN-mediated and Libyan – led and – owned process. Thanks also to Ambassador Yamazaki for the update on sanctions. And I also want to welcome Ambassador of Libya to today’s meeting.

Madam President, we have recently passed two years mark since the postponement of Libya’s planned elections. It is regrettable that 2.8 million Libyans who registered to vote in 2021 still have not had the opportunity to go to the ballot box, exercising their democratic right and restoring legitimacy to Libyan institutions.

We recognise that steps have been taken in the right direction, including UNSMIL’s assessment that last year’s updated electoral laws provide a working basis to hold elections. Although we do regret that these laws fail to ensure a greater representation of women, as originally envisaged. 

Overall, differences clearly remain on the path forward which require urgent dialogue and compromise to overcome. And amidst regional turmoil, we must prevent the already fragile security situation in Libya from deteriorating.

We therefore urge political actors in Libya to really put the needs and aspirations of the Libyan people first. All parties should engage with the Special Representative’s efforts in good faith and without preconditions, and nominate representatives to engage in his preparatory discussions without further delay.

We also believe that a political process should go hand in hand with efforts on national reconciliation. We acknowledge the role played by the African Union in this regard and welcome the planned holding of a National Reconciliation Conference in April in Sirte.

Madam President, the tragic flooding across eastern Libya in September demonstrated the urgent need for unified and fully functioning state institutions. This is also critical in the recovery and reconstruction phase.

Having suffered our own major flooding last year, Slovenia offers its full solidarity and sincere condolences to all Libyans, for whom this catastrophe has been devastating. It has also served as a serious ‘wake up call’ regarding the impact of climate change in the country and in the region, which requires urgent collective action.

Finally Madam President, I wish to express concern regarding the human rights situation in Libya, particularly in this pre-electoral phase. Attacks against human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, protesters, journalists and civil society groups are directly contrary to efforts to build an environment conducive for free and fair elections. We are also worried about reports of human rights violations in detentions centers, including torture, forced labor, ill-treatment and sexual violence against women.

We welcome the roundtable engagement last week between Libyan authorities, civil society representatives and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly and Association, as well as ongoing efforts to establish a human rights-centered action plan to follow up on the final report of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission. We call for further concrete steps to make this plan a reality, and to achieve a rights-based future for all in Libya.

Thank you.

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