Published On: Sun, Oct 25th, 2020

UN Secterary-General lauds Geneva Agreement, cautions process must be “Libya-led, Libya-owned”

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By Janet Ekstract

UNITED NATIONS (TURKISH JOURNAL) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lauded the Libya ceasefire agreement signed in Geneva on Friday, October 23, which he said must be implemented in a timely manner. In a press conference, the secretary-general outlined his views on the process while emphasizing that this signing is a “critical step” in the agreement that includes “many decisions” that must be addressed in order to move forward with implementation. 

The process was facilitated by the UN with Special Representative to Libya and Acting Chief of the United Nations Support Mission In Libya (UNSMIL) Stephanie Williams guiding the negotiation process leading up to the signing. The secretary-general praised Williams and congratulated both parties in Libya for “putting the interest of their nation ahead of their differences.” Guterres explained that high-level meetings at the 75th UN General Assembly were instrumental in getting the international community rallied around this issue.

Guterres emphasized the importance of all countries that were instrumental in creating an environment for the process to happen and called on the international community to “support Libyans in implementing the ceasefire and in bringing an end to the conflict.”  The secretary-general said: “This includes ensuring the full and unconditional respect for the Security Council arms embargo.” At the same time, Guterres urged all Libyan parties to follow through on the current momentum of the process and “show the same determination in reaching a political solution to the conflict, resolving economic issues and addressing the humanitarian situation.” 

Currently, the UNSMIL has preparations underway to restart the Libya Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) that will include prior consultations and a series of meetings to facilitate what Guterres said is “the resumption of inclusive, intra-Libyan political talks – Libyan-led and Libyan-owned.” As the secretary-general reiterated: “There is no military solution for the conflict in Libya.” He stressed that there will be “much hard work ahead.” The secretary-general assured Libyans that the UN will continue to support the Libyan parties on their path to peace. Guterres said there is a parallel process taking place to prepare for the LPDF. During that process, Guterres said he hopes it will unite all Libyans to find a way to move ahead with a political solution. He highlighted that of great importance will be establishing “future institutions in the country that will guarantee peace and stability in Libya.” He added that an additional step is the UN working with the African Union that is preparing as Guterres  said, “a large meeting for the reconciliation of different entities in Libya.”

The secretary-general pointed out that the most important aspect is that all parties are involved in this ceasefire and that his goal is to see a “global ceasefire” where other countries in conflict can take some “inspiration” from the Libya situation and end their conflicts as well. Guterres said the most pressing issue after the conflict is the COVID-19 pandemic and that his aim is to be able to devote more time to resolving that crisis. He added that the most essential action right now for the Libya conflict is “implementation, implementation, implementation.” 

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