What's In Blue

Posted Mon 9 Oct 2017

Libya Presidential Statement Endorsing UN Action Plan

Tomorrow (10 October), the Council is expected to adopt a presidential statement endorsing the UN action plan for the resumption of an inclusive Libyan-owned political process. The action plan was presented by Secretary-General António Guterres and his Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, at a 20 September meeting on the margins of the high-level segment of the General Assembly. It includes a proposal to agree in the following sequence upon:

• a political package that addresses the amendments required to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA);
• the organisation of a national conference to consult with the largest spectrum of Libyan perspectives and consensually fill important positions;
• agreement on a constitution once changes have been made to the current draft in light of the discussions at the national conference; and
• holding parliamentary and presidential elections within one year.

While all Council members supported endorsing the action plan, there were different positions regarding the degree of detail that the presidential statement should include on the sequencing of its implementation. In particular, two Council members maintained that including too much detail would affect the flexibility of the good offices work of Special Representative Salamé. In the end, the statement will look forward to further sequential implementation of the plan, ahead of the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections within a year, but does not set out details of the different stages of the action plan mentioned above.

The draft also emphasises the imperative for all member states to support the primacy of the UN mediation in Libya. This reinforces language in resolution 2376, adopted on 14 September, which underscored the central role of the UN in facilitating a Libyan-led political solution, heeding the Secretary-General’s call to consolidate the various initiatives under the leadership of the UN.

The draft reaffirms that the LPA remains the only viable framework to end the Libyan political crisis. Council members expressed different perspectives on how to refer to potential spoilers of the process, with one member opposing the inclusion of previously agreed language to cease support to, and official contact with, parallel institutions claiming to be the legitimate authority. Ultimately, the draft recalls the resolution which introduced this language in December 2015 (paragraph 5 of resolution 2259) without spelling out its content. The statement also reaffirms that any attempt by Libyan parties to undermine the Libyan-led, UN-facilitated political process is unacceptable.

Council members also had different perspectives over how to refer to counter-terrorism efforts, with one member opposing a reference to the leadership of Fayez Al-Sarraj, the head of the Presidency Council, in this field. In the end, the draft welcomes Libyan-led efforts in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The draft urges all Libyans to unite in their fight against terrorism and reiterates the need for unified and strengthened national security forces, under a unified, civilian government.

Finally, the Council expresses its intention to monitor progress on the implementation of the action plan, and requests the Secretary-General to provide such updates in his reporting.

Sign up for What's In Blue emails

Subscribe to receive SCR publications