Estonian statement at the UN Security Council briefing on the Situation in Libya

Delivered by Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr. Sven Jürgenson on 24 November, 2021

Mr. President,

I thank the briefers for their comprehensive overviews on the latest developments in Libya. I would like to express Estonia’s full support to the work and the mediation efforts of UNSMIL and thank Special Envoy Kubiš for his work.

Libya today stands at a critical juncture. The planned and highly anticipated presidential and parliamentary elections are exactly one month away. While important progress has been made in preparation for the elections, including on the voter registration, there are still a number of issues that need addressing. We urge all Libyan parties to work together to ensure the holding of free, fair, inclusive and credible elections on 24 December that would pave way for a lasting peace in Libya.

For the longer-term stability and the success of the electoral process, it is essential to ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and the inclusion of youth at all stages of the preparation as well as elections themselves. In this connection, we highly value the presentation by Ms. Bensaad. It is quite apparent that women face a multitude of hurdles in participating in the electoral process and this requires our continued attention. Women need to be able to participate in all aspects of the political life, as candidates, activists and voters, without fear of retaliation.

On the military track, Estonia welcomes the progress on the implementation of the 23 October 2020 Libyan ceasefire agreement. We commend the important steps that 5+5 Joint Military Commission has taken at the presence of UNSMIL and together with the neighbouring countries in moving forward with the Action Plan on the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries. It is essential that all outside actors leave from Libya without delay.

Estonia welcomes the deployment of the first group of UN monitors to support the Libyan-led ceasefire monitoring mechanism. We look forward to the further operationalisation of the international support team to the Libyan Joint Military Commission monitors.

Mr. President,

The human rights and humanitarian situation in Libya remains extremely concerning. It is important to ensure adequate access for humanitarian aid and humanitarian workers to all those in need. It is crucial to end arbitrary detention, exposure to violence, including sexual and gender based violence of migrants and asylum seekers.

All alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties in Libya need to be thoroughly investigated. Fight against impunity and ensuring accountability will pave way to restoring trust in the society. Estonia welcomes the important work of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission, including its report from September 2021 and calls for full, safe and unhindered access to all parts of Libya to fulfil its mandate.

Finally, Mr. President, Estonia welcomes the Declaration of the Paris International Conference for Libya that took place on 12 November. It is important to reiterate that the UN-led mediation efforts in the framework of the Berlin process remain the basis for international efforts in support of achieving peace and stability in Libya.

I thank you.