Today marks the 72nd anniversary of Libya’s independence, and UNSMIL extends its heartfelt congratulations to the Libyan people. It also signifies two years since general elections were not held in December 2021. Two-million-eight-hundred-thousand Libyans registered to vote in those elections with hopes of renewing the legitimacy of their state institutions and setting the country on a path to durable peace, stability, and sustainable development after more than a decade of instability.
Libyan people are growing increasingly frustrated as they eagerly await the opportunity to exercise their political right to vote in a safe and secure environment.
Efforts to hold elections over the past two years have been characterized by open-ended negotiations, procrastination, and questionable intent, despite repeated calls from the UN Security Council, most recently in Resolution 2702 (2023), on the need to reach a compromise. Efforts have also been made by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily.
Scheduled to fulfill his mandate from the UN Security Council, SRSG Bathily invited the heads of five main Libyan institutions – Presidential Council, House of Representatives, High Council of State, Government of National Unity, and Libyan National Army – to meet in good faith to settle all remaining contentious issues impeding progress toward elections.
Libya now has a constitutional and legal framework for elections which the High National Election Commission considers technically implementable. However, successful elections can only take place when Libyan stakeholders are genuinely committed to creating the necessary conditions for their successful implementation.
UNSMIL remains committed to facilitating dialogue, but the responsibility lies on Libyan stakeholders to show their full commitment to achieving national unity, peace, and security by engaging positively with SRSG Bathily’s efforts.
Political parties, civil society, women, youth, notables and elders, along with military and security actors, must mobilize and urge their institutional leaders to fulfill their duty to the motherland, Libya.
The international community also needs to stand united in word and deed and urge Libyan stakeholders to choose the path of peace, unity, and democracy. Regional actors must push for and support positive engagement toward a national compromise.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).