Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Libya

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
June 19, 2023


Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Special Representative Bathily and Ambassador Ishikane, for your briefings. And we thank Ms. Albeir Imneina for her contribution.

The United States takes note of reported progress by the 6+6 Committee in reaching agreement on a package of electoral laws, and thanks Morocco for hosting this round of talks. We welcome UNSMIL’s commitment to work with all Libyan institutions and actors to ensure progress to date leads to timely elections. We urge all players to engage constructively with SRSG Bathily in securing the necessary political, security, and legal environment for elections.

It is beyond time for those who occupy Libya’s leadership positions to demonstrate leadership and fulfill without further delay the Libyan people’s demand for elections that re-legitimize their political institutions.

We reiterate our full support for your efforts, Special Representative Bathily, to promote political consensus for holding elections. Anyone with Libya’s best interests in mind should welcome the SRSG’s good offices and impartial facilitation.

We continue to credit the work of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission and encourage speedy implementation of all the terms of the 2020 ceasefire agreement, particularly the removal of foreign forces, fighters, and mercenaries and the identification and categorization of armed groups for possible disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration.

The 5+5’s cooperative and practical approach to solving problems that affect Libyans’ daily lives highlights the benefits of Libya making progress toward unifying its security structure.

We are concerned about military operations in Zawiya involving drone strikes. We urge all parties to take great care in avoiding actions that could spiral into wider violence.

We are concerned by the possibility of weapons transfers from Libya to the conflict in Sudan. We note that the Libya arms embargo prohibits the export of arms and related material from Libya. The UN regional arms embargo on Darfur also prohibits arms and related material from entering the Darfur region. We encourage the Panels of Experts for Libya and Sudan to monitor this situation carefully.

We continue to be deeply concerned over the detention of Mr. Imad Ben Rajeb, the focal point regarding the illicit transport of petroleum. We urge the Libyan authorities to provide the Sanctions Committee with information about the circumstances of his arrest and to ensure he is provided full due process.

Without a focal point able to perform the functions detailed in the relevant resolutions, the Sanctions Committee’s ability to carry out its responsibilities is threatened. We are concerned about reports of increased fuel smuggling since Mr. Ben Rajeb’s arrest.

We are pleased that the Security Council renewed the authority used by the EU’s Operation IRINI to inspect vessels suspected of violating the arms embargo this month and applaud IRINI’s work in deterring such violations.

Violations of the arms and oil embargoes, as well as the continued presence of mercenaries and foreign fighters, are an indication that foreign actors profit from and support the status quo. Foreign interference has prolonged this political impasse and destabilized Libya and must end, so that the Libyan people themselves can control their future and chart a path to peace and prosperity.

I thank you.