Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Libyan power-holders must compromise and agree the conditions for elections – UK Statement in the Security Council [February 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 27 February 2023.

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council briefing on Libya.

President, I thank SRSG Bathily for his briefing, extensive consultations on the situation in Libya and for outlining his plan for the political process. I welcome his commitment to reinvigorating the political process to deliver elections for Libya and its people.

To deliver parliamentary and presidential elections, Libyan power-holders must compromise and agree the conditions for elections. Potential spoilers must also be brought into an agreement, to ensure elections results are respected. The United Kingdom thanks Egypt for their efforts to support discussions between the House of Representatives and High State Council.

It is now time to build on those efforts and to broaden the political negotiation to deliver sustainable progress towards elections. Elections will not mean the end of the political process. The groundwork must also be laid for long-term stability, including the finalisation of a constitution, facilitated by the elected government, and a continued cycle of future elections that respect term-lengths.

President, political developments must also be supported by effective security and economic tracks. Transparent and accountable economic processes and public institutions, that serve all Libyan people through the fair distribution of resources, and the provision of and investment in public services are required. I call on all Libyan parties to enact these elements of good governance.

As co-chair of the Security Working Group for Libya, the United Kingdom will continue to support efforts for the joint working and eventual unification of Libya’s militaries into one state military that is accountable to an elected government and able to tackle comprehensively Libya’s security challenges. Libya must also see the full implementation of the October 2020 ceasefire and the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries as soon as possible.

President, this is a seminal moment in Libya. We have a clear opportunity to progress long-term stability and meet the expectations of the country. I urge all Libyans, UNSMIL and the Council to grasp it. Through inclusive dialogue and compromise Libyan actors have an opportunity to finally deliver the security and prosperity the Libyan people deserve.