U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs in UN, Robert Wood, has said his country fully supports the proposed elections-enabling mechanism as UN envoy to Libya outlined in his remarks to the Security Council on Monday.
“The United States is hundred percent committed to helping you (UN envoy to Libya) succeed,” he said in the UN Security Council meeting.
UN envoy to Libya Abdoulaye Bathily had told the Security Council that he decided to launch an initiative aimed at enabling the organization and holding of presidential and legislative elections in Libya in 2023.
“In this regard, I plan to establish a High-level Steering Panel for Libya,” Bathily remarked in the Security Council’s meeting.
The proposed mechanism will bring together all relevant Libyan stakeholders, including representatives of political institutions, major political figures, tribal leaders, civil society organizations, security actors, women, and youth representatives, according to the UN envoy.
In addition to the facilitation of the adoption of the legal framework and time-bound roadmap to the holding of elections in 2023, the proposed Panel will also provide a platform to advance consensus around related matters, such as election security and the adoption of a Code of Conduct for all candidates, he added
“The status quo in Libya is not stable, with heightened risks of partition, energy disruptions, further political strife, and violence. The only viable path to a durable peace in Libya, is enabling the Libyan people to choose their own leaders in national elections,” Wood pointed out.
Wood welcomed “the progress Libyans have made in the Egypt-hosted constitutional track, in which Libyan leaders resolved many issues needed to hold elections.”
He thanked the Government of Egypt for “its efforts and important contributions to realizing our shared goal of holding presidential and parliamentary elections. ”
“Now it is time to build on these achievements and move forward with a UN-facilitated effort to secure a broad political consensus and enable successful elections in Libya,” the US official stressed.
“Full, unified support from this Council and other international stakeholders will be critical as Special Representative Bathily works to implement an elections-enabling mechanism. Building political will among all of Libya’s leaders to make the hard decisions and move elections forward remains a challenge,” he added.
“Now is the time to restore momentum. The United States endorses action by Special Representative Bathily and UNSMIL to directly address the electoral process via a UN-facilitated elections-enabling mechanism that will secure resolution of the issues that stand in the way of elections in Libya,” according to Wood.
“The SRSG has outlined an inclusive process that keeps key institutions and leaders at the table – however, there is no room for spoilers seeking to thwart the will of the Libyan people,” he said.
“The United States will continue to support the professional and impartial work of the High National Elections Commission. We welcome UNSMIL’s technical assistance to the Commission and call on all Libyans to back it and conform to its directives,” Wood stated.
“Progress on the political track must be accompanied by progress on the economic and security tracks. We believe that cooperation and compromise on one track will reinforce progress on the others, through confidence building and transparency.”
“The development of a revenue management mechanism and progress in reunifying Libya’s central bank will provide transparency and accountability, so that the people of Libya can see how Libya’s wealth is being spent,” Wood explained.
“The commitment to East-West security cooperation, perhaps through a joint unit, will be a welcome signal of progress and confirmation that the Libyan people can manage their own security. Libyan calls for the departure of foreign fighters and mercenaries – these forces must withdraw from Libya immediately. Wagner mercenaries are particularly problematic and must withdraw,” he added.
“As we aim to make progress on these fronts, at the same time, the United States is deeply concerned by the plight of migrants in Libya. We are saddened by the continued loss of life on the Mediterranean and appalled by the inhumane treatment of migrants detained in official and unofficial detention centers. We call for respect for the human rights of migrants. We support the continued work of the Commission of Inquiry and call on Libyan leaders to cooperate fully with it and with humanitarian organizations.”
“It is long past time for elections and an end to politics by force, graft, and coercion. Libyans deserve to choose their own leaders in a government that leads to peace, stability, and prosperity. The United States stands ready to support your UN leadership to help Libya achieve those goals, The U.S. official concluded.