2013 Government Statement on Libya

Below is the text of the speech made on behalf of the UK to the Security Council on 14th November 2013.

Mr President,

Let me thank the Prosecutor for her report and briefing on the situation in Libya.

The United Kingdom has been concerned by the ongoing difficulty in Libya’s internal political situation since the Prosecutor delivered her last report. These challenges are, to some extent, to be expected after four decades of misrule. Security and justice sector reform is, however, more critical now than ever before if Libya is to rebuild its state institutions and return to stability in the aftermath of the revolution. We, along with our international partners, remain committed to working with Libya to provide it with the support it needs to meet the serious challenges it faces.

Mr President,

We welcome ongoing efforts to investigate, and bring to justice, all those who are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity since 15 February 2011. We particularly welcome the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Office of the Prosecutor and the Government of Libya on burden-sharing in further investigations and prosecutions and hope swift progress can be made on its implementation.

The United Kingdom welcomed Libya’s positive response to the recommendations made in the UN report on torture and deaths in detention in Libya. We echo the Office of the Prosecutor’s call upon the Libyan Government to fully implement its April 2013 law criminalising torture, enforced disappearances and discrimination. We also share their concerns about Libya’s slow progress on processing detainees. We echo calls for Libya to work closely with the UN and ICRC to help independently confirm the screening and processing of detainees, releasing those against whom there is little or no evidence and submitting the remainder to trial. In doing so, we believe that this will help to establish confidence in the Libyan justice system.

We fully support the ongoing investigations in relation to gender crimes and in relation to the situation of internally displaced persons, including Tawerghans. These efforts continue to play an important part in challenging impunity and ensuring accountability for those who bear the greatest responsibility for the most serious crimes. We urge the Libyan Government to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.

Mr President,

The United Kingdom is grateful for the update from the Prosecutor on the cases of Saif al-Islam Qadhafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi. We note in particular the recent decision of the Pre-trial chamber of the ICC that the Al-Senussi case is to proceed in Libya.

The UK supports the right of Libya to hold national trials for crimes committed within its jurisdiction; any action must be taken in line with the decisions of the ICC. Detention must be in accordance with international law, including access to legal advisers, and trials must be consistent with Libya’s international human rights obligations. We encourage Libya’s full cooperation with the Court on the Saif al-Islam Qadhafi and the Abdullah Al-Senussi cases. Mr President, The United Kingdom continues to be a friend of Libya and a supporter of the ICC. We look forward to future cooperation between Libya and the Court as Libya works to return to stability in the aftermath of revolution.

Thank you, Mr President.