The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 22 August 2023.
Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council meeting on Libya.
Thank you, President.
I thank SRSG Bathily and Ms Al Jerbi for their briefings today. I welcome the participation of the Representative of Libya in our meeting. Let me make three points.
First, the United Kingdom is deeply concerned by the violence last week in Tripoli, in particular its impact on civilians. We have already seen the cost of violence and instability in Libya’s neighbourhood this year, from Sudan to Niger.
Libyan actors must heed this warning and fulfil their responsibilities to uphold peace and security across the country. Individuals and entities who threaten the peace and security or obstruct the political process in Libya may be designated under the Libya sanctions regime.
Second, these clashes underscore the importance of making urgent progress in Libya’s political process. I welcome SRSG Bathily’s ongoing efforts to facilitate a negotiation between Libyan actors to reach a political agreement for elections.
Libya’s leaders must urgently engage with SRSG Bathily to give this process a chance of success. I call on Libya’s leaders to work constructively with the SRSG – including by attending any meetings he convenes, to be open to making concessions, and to move the country towards elections.
Third, Ms Al Jerbi’s briefing highlights the impact of the crackdown on civil society for ordinary Libyans. Competition over control of civic space by Libya’s institutions and recent reports of arbitrary arrests and clampdowns on civil society activity indicate an alarming trend.
Civic space should be protected to allow Libyans to hold their leaders accountable and to empower everyone to play a role in developing an open, democratic society that allows for freedom of association, operation and assembly.
President, let me close by calling on Libya’s leaders to consider the impact that the political impasse has on the Libyan people. Libya continues to suffer from the lack of political progress and is unable to make long-term investments in stability, security and prosperity.
Libya’s leaders should fulfil their responsibilities and make the compromises needed to deliver elections and unlock longer-term political progress.