Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen
Acting Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
May 21, 2019


Thank you, Mr. President.  Special Representative Salamé, Commissioner Chergui, Ambassador Schulz, thank you for your briefings today.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the two terrorist attacks on MINUSMA last weekend that killed one Nigerian peacekeeper and wounded several others.  We send our condolences and sympathy to the family of the Nigerian peacekeeper who was killed and wish a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.

Turning back to Libya, Mr. President, foremost on our minds are the safety of UN personnel and civilians on the ground.

Special Representative Salamé, we strongly support your personal leadership in promoting a political solution and attempting to reduce the violence in Libya.  We welcome the ongoing efforts of the UN Support Mission in Libya to chart a path forward that provides security and prosperity for all Libyans.

Continuing instability in Tripoli is endangering civilians, damaging civilian infrastructure, creating opportunities for terrorists to regroup, and fueling a worsening humanitarian situation.

Mr. President, lasting peace and stability will only come through a political solution.

All parties should return to UN political mediation, the success of which depends upon a ceasefire in and around Tripoli.

The humanitarian situation is alarming and we commend ongoing efforts to address the humanitarian dimension of this conflict.

Mr. President, we call on all sides to avoid further escalation and work constructively with the Special Representative and UNSMIL to achieve a long overdue political solution to this conflict.

The United States stands ready to provide all appropriate assistance as UNSMIL works to help Libyans return to the political process and de-escalate the conflict in Tripoli.

Thank you for your attention.