Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Reconstruction efforts following floods must be unified across eastern and western Libya – UK statement at the UN Security Council [October 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 16 October 2023.

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council meeting on Libya.

Thank you, President,

I thank SRSG Bathily for his briefing and the Permanent Representative of Japan for his update on the 1970 committee. I also welcome the participation of the Representative of Libya in this meeting.

Firstly, I want to express the UK’s deep condolences to the people of Libya following the devastating flooding in Derna. The UK is committed to supporting those affected by the flooding. We have mobilised over $6 million in support, contributing to the UN Flash Appeal, deploying UK emergency medical teams, and technical engineering support. We will continue to coordinate closely with the UN and Libyan authorities on further support required.

We welcome SRSG Bathily’s statement on the need for a national mechanism to direct recovery and reconstruction efforts. To be effective, any reconstruction efforts must be unified across eastern and western Libya, and coordinated with local, national and international partners. There must be full transparency, effective oversight, and accountability to the Libyan people.

President, the devastating floods simply reinforce our assessment that the status quo is unsustainable and will not deliver what the Libyan people need. Libya’s citizens continue to suffer from the lack of political progress. A unified and democratically-elected government is needed to respond effectively to citizen’s needs.

In this regard, we note UNSMIL’s assessment that the updated electoral laws constitute a working basis to hold elections and require the commitment of all major parties to implement. However, as SRSG has made clear, contentious issues remain. These need to be resolved through an inclusive political agreement.

Therefore, Libya’s leaders must urgently engage with SRSG Bathily, in a constructive manner, to give this process a chance of success. They should attend any UN convened meetings and make concessions in order to move Libya towards elections.

We look forward to working with Council Members on the renewal of the UNSMIL’s mandate later this month. UNSMIL is an essential partner in Libya and vital to efforts to help create a path towards free, fair and inclusive Presidential and Parliamentary elections. We hope this renewal will provide the continuity that SRSG Bathily needs to lead the Mission and steer international support towards an inclusive political settlement for Libya.

Thank you.