UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday in remarks to Berlin II Conference that full implementation of a historic ceasefire agreement and the withdrawal of foreign forces are critical for consolidating peace in Libya, underlining the support for the Libyan-led ceasefire monitoring mechanism, with the first group of UN monitors set to deploy to the capital, Tripoli, soon.
In a video message to the Berlin II Conference, Guterres commended military representatives from Libya’s rival sides for their work to implement the October 2020 truce reached under the auspices of the UN mission in the country.
"The United Nations is fully committed to facilitating the Libyan-led and Libyan-owned processes in support of the ceasefire agreement, national reconciliation and transitional justice, and the holding of elections on 24 December.” He said, encouraging Libyan authorities and institutions to shoulder their responsibilities and move forward together towards stability and unity.
“We must put an end to all foreign interference, including the full withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya. I urge Libyan and external parties to agree on a comprehensive plan, with clear timelines, to achieve this goal, which UNSMIL stands ready to support.” He added.
Guterres also said the UN continues to uphold efforts towards advancing an inclusive and comprehensive political solution in Libya, welcoming the progress on the political track, and stressing that improving security for ordinary citizens, and building confidence and trust, will be key to the country’s prosperity.
"Among the unity government’s top tasks is organising December’s elections, and he called for the House of Representatives to clarify the constitutional basis for the vote, and to adopt the necessary legislation. National elections should be a time for unity.” Guterres said.
“All Libyans, including women, youth and internally displaced people, should be able to participate freely in the elections on 24 December, as candidates and voters. Incitement to violence, harassment or hate speech should have no place in the electoral process.” He further added.
Guterres also stressed that progress on the military and political fronts will have to be accompanied by serious efforts to address the root causes of instability, welcoming the government’s decision to establish a reconciliation commission.
The Secretary General also expressed concern over what he described as “the serious and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya”.
"It is estimated some 1.3 million people require aid relief: 400,000 more than in 2020." He said, urging countries to support a $189 million humanitarian response plan that currently is just over 20 per cent funded.