On 5 October 2020, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, and the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Heiko Maas, co-chaired a Ministerial meeting on Libya on the margins of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting was attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and senior representatives from Member States and regional organizations that are part of the Berlin process, as well as from Libya’s neighboring countries.
The participants reaffirmed their commitment to the conclusions of the Berlin Conference on Libya held in January 2020, as endorsed by the Security Council through its resolution 2510 (2020). They expressed their gratitude to the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ms. Stephanie Williams, for her efforts to resume a Libyan-led and UN-facilitated political process.
The participants welcomed the adoption of the Security Council resolution 2542 (2020), which foresees the appointment by the Secretary-General of a new Special Envoy and Head of UNSMIL, as well as a Mission Coordinator. They highlighted the need to seize the opportunity created by the positive developments over the past few weeks to achieve peace and stability in Libya.
The participants highlighted the need for regional and international stakeholders to work together to help the Libyans find a lasting political settlement. In this regard, they welcomed the continued efforts of regional organizations to contribute to the ongoing peace efforts in Libya. In particular, they commended the African Union’s plans to convene a Libyan national reconciliation conference in Addis Ababa. They also welcomed international initiatives held within the framework of the UN process, including the meetings in Montreux (Switzerland), Bouznika (Morocco) and Cairo (Egypt).
The participants strongly welcomed the planned resumption of intra-Libyan talks building on the calls for a ceasefire by the parties to the conflict on 21 August, as well as the Montreux recommendations which have identified elements of a political settlement to be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in late October 2020.
The participants called on all Libyan parties to act responsibly and constructively in the interest of their nation, and to build consensus on an inclusive political settlement leading to elections that would restore democratic legitimacy.
The participants welcomed the recent lull in hostilities. They stressed the need to immediately stop foreign military interventions in Libya. There was broad agreement that repeated violations of the United Nations arms embargo had to stop immediately.
The participants welcomed the progress made in the recent Hurghada (Egypt) talks and 5+5 Joint Military Commission discussions. They called for a swift implementation of a possible demilitarized zone in and around Sirte to allow it to become the seat of the state institutions of the preparatory period discussed in Montreux. They also urged the Libyan parties to swiftly agree to a lasting ceasefire.
The participants highlighted the negative impact that Libya’s weakened economy has had on living conditions of the population. They stressed the importance of ensuring the complete and unconditional lifting of the oil blockade, to allow the resumption of oil exports. In this regard, the participants welcomed the ongoing discussions regarding the equitable and transparent management of oil revenues among all regions of the country. They also urged Libyan authorities to make progress on economic reforms, including the reunification of the country’s financial institutions.
Humanitarian and Human Rights
The participants expressed concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the added threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya, including on migrants and refugees. They welcomed the establishment in June by the Human Rights Council of the Fact-Finding Mission to investigate human rights violations in Libya, committing to support its work and its investigation team once established. They urged all Member States to provide more resettlement and evacuation places for refugees and asylum seekers stranded in Libya.
The co-chairs thanked the participants for their commitments. They noted the inter-linkages among the political, security, and economic tracks. They stressed the importance of coherent and coordinated efforts under the umbrella and leadership of the United Nations.