Guterres commends Libya forum for breakthrough on interim leadership deal

18 January 2021

The UN Secretary-General has praised the breakthrough made by a key committee of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum at the weekend, over an interim political leadership deal, ahead of nationwide elections at the end of the year.

Announcing the development on Saturday, Acting UN Libya envoy Stephanie Williams said that Libyan envoys who had travelled to the Swiss city had broken the “deadlock” over selecting representatives for a temporary executive, from all regions of the country.

The oil-rich nation has been divided into warring factions since the overthrow of President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with bloody conflict between the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west, and the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the east.

The terms of the Geneva deal were due to be voted on today, Monday, by the 75 members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, in Tunis.

'Best possible compromise'

The envoy described the proposal as “the best possible compromise” as it “respects the regional dimension and …encourages people to work across the divide and across regions, in order to strengthen understanding and to build unity in the country”.

The temporary authority will be replaced by a permanent, democratically elected government, chosen by the Libyan people.

“It is important to reflect and to remind everyone that what we are talking about here is a temporary, unified executive authority that will be replaced by a permanent, democratically elected government, chosen by the Libyan people on December 24th of this year” Ms. Williams explained.

‘Decisive role’

In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, UN chief António Guterres commended in particular the “decisive role played by women representatives and the Southern members, to forge consensus” over a recommended mechanism for selecting the executive.

“The Secretary-General calls on the members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum to participate constructively in the vote on the selection mechanism and press ahead on the path to national elections on 24 December 2021”.

Mr. Guterres also reiterated the support of the entire UN for the people of Libya, in their efforts to advance peace and stability.

Kubiš appointed new Special Envoy

The UN chief also made the formal announcement on Monday that Ján Kubiš of Slovakia is to be the new Special Envoy on Libya and Head of the Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Mr. Guterres said in the statement that he was “grateful for the commitment and outstanding leadership”, of Acting Special Representative Stephanie Williams, who has moved the political process of reconstituting the war-torn country forward considerably during her time in the key role.

Mr. Kubiš, who has served as Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), since 2019, brings with him many years of experience in diplomacy, foreign security policy, and international economic relations, both internationally and in his own country, the statement said.

 

♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Peace dividend for Libya economy, as oil flows and Central Bank unifies exchange rate after years of deadlock

The ceasefire that halted Libya’s civil war in October has begun to pay economic dividends that should improve living standards for ordinary Libyans, with a first central bank board meeting in five years and a full resumption of oil production helping to build momentum for political change.

Foreign fighters a ‘serious crisis’ in Libya, UN mission chief tells high stakes political forum

The 20,000 foreign fighters now in Libya represent “a serious crisis” and “a shocking violation of Libyan sovereignty”, UN Acting Special Representative Stephanie Williams said on Wednesday, during the latest meeting under the country’s political dialogue forum.