Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Libya

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
November 24, 2021


Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, Special Envoy Kubis, Ambassador Tirimuti, and Dr. Bensaad, for your briefings today. Special Envoy, your team’s efforts to guide the Libyan people on the road to elections beginning on December 24 have been noteworthy, and we appreciate your perseverance in engaging Libyan political figures, generating dialogue on the electoral process, and encouraging progress on the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

As others have highlighted already, we are now just 30 days from the beginning of elections in Libya. The High National Election Commission has made real progress in planning for these elections. Millions of Libyans have registered to vote, and many candidates have registered to stand for presidential and parliamentary elections. We see strong signals of increased Libyan ownership of the electoral process. We will support a Libya-led process that reflects the maximum consensus achievable in the time allowed.

The Paris Conference for Libya on November 12 was an unambiguous demonstration of international support for Libya and a clear call for progress. We must hold Libyan leaders to their commitment to elections while helping them implement their election plan. Democracy is a competition of ideas in service of the people. We call on all Libyan leaders to embrace and participate in the democratic process while adhering to electoral regulations. The threat of boycotts by factions claiming systemic bias will not serve the Libyan people, advance peace, or help achieve prosperity.

We remind those who would interfere with Libya’s elections or stoke violence that the Security Council may impose sanctions on anyone – Libyan or otherwise – who obstructs or undermines the elections as planned for in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum roadmap. This Council must target election spoilers to promote accountability if need be.

The Libyan authorities were clear during the October 21 Stabilization Conference in Tripoli – they reject foreign interference in Libya and seek the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters, and foreign forces. We commend the 5+5 Joint Military Commission and its comprehensive Action Plan for the withdrawal of the armed groups. With over 20,000 foreign fighters in Libya, it is essential to continue discussions on implementing the withdrawal of foreign forces. We welcome Special Envoy Kubis’ update on the deployment of the first ceasefire monitors to Libya and next steps in implementing the Action Plan. We call on all states – including those on this Council – to adhere to Resolutions 2570 and 2571 and to support the withdrawal of foreign forces.

Secretary Kubis, we take note of your decision to resign, and reports that the UN Secretary-General has accepted your resignation. We thank you sincerely for your service. As with all Head of Mission nominations, we will await the Secretary-General’s decision on whom he will nominate to serve as the Special Envoy. We impress upon all Council members the importance of facilitating a quick and smooth transition of responsibilities during this critical juncture. In the interim, we will continue to work with UNSMIL and all UN leadership to advance progress toward elections on December 24 and the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement.

Thank you, Mr. President.