Ambassador Jeffrey L. DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Security Council Affairs
New York, New York
October 24, 2022
Thank you, Mr. President and thank you, Special Representative Bathily, for your briefing and update on the current situation in Libya. The United States welcomes your appointment as head of UNSMIL and offers our full support as you work towards peace and stability in Libya. Your arrival in Tripoli is an opportunity to reinvigorate the political process. We encourage UNSMIL to take the lead on pressing forward toward agreement on a constitutional basis and a clear timeline for elections, the establishment of a transparent mechanism for the allocation of oil revenues, and resolute commitment from all parties to refrain from the use of force.
We continue to call on Libyans to participate in the UN-led effort to settle the constitutional basis for elections, an objective that has been close to agreement on several occasions. We encourage swift decisions on eligibility criteria for presidential elections and careful thought as to how key Libyan actors will interact after the elections.
It is imperative that a credible and realistic electoral timetable is established quickly, including arrangements for the independent organization, oversight, and observation of the electoral process by the highly competent High National Election Commission. There should be clear expectations on when any sitting official seeking to run for office must step down. We note that those who obstruct or undermine the successful completion of Libya’s political transition may be subject to UN sanctions. It must be made clear to Libya’s leaders that the use of violence to advance political goals is always unacceptable.
The United States remains deeply concerned about the potential for further fighting following the clashes in Libya in August. All states have a clear responsibility to discourage any Libyan actions that destabilize the security situation and threaten the 2020 ceasefire agreement.
Non-transparent use of Libya’s oil revenues for political and personal gain continues to prop up rival political figures, who divert funds to consolidate support, particularly among militias and foreign fighters. We should work together with the SRSG to facilitate agreement among Libyan leaders on a mechanism for transparent oversight and accountability of Libya’s oil resources.
We welcome the SRSG broad consultations. We would like to see greater engagement with civil society, as well as efforts to push back against attempts by Libyan authorities and security actors to close civic space. Consultations by UNSMIL with civil society members may crystalize for Libyan power brokers what the Libyan people seek from their leaders in a newly elected government.
Finally, we appreciate the work of the United Kingdom on the UNSMIL mandate resolution draft. We welcome the Council’s constructive negotiations thus far and call on all Council members to continue productive engagement to ensure UNSMIL has the full-year mandate necessary for it to accomplish its mission. Thank you, Mr. President.