11 July 2012

Libya: Security Council Welcomes Holding of Elections in Libya

The Security Council has welcomed the holding of Libya's first national elections this past weekend - the North African country's first in nearly five decades.

"The members of the Security Council congratulate the Libyan people on this occasion and commend their peaceful participation in the process, while strongly condemning the isolated incidents of violence that occurred," the 15-member body said in a press statement on Tuesday night.

"The members of the Security Council consider the elections a milestone for Libya's democratic transition," the statement added.

Council member also commended the Libyan authorities - particularly the High National Electoral Commission of Libya, domestic observers and all others involved - for the well-conducted preparations and management of elections on the day.

The Council expressed its appreciation of the support provided by the UN Support Mission in Libya during the electoral process, and said it looked forward to UNSMIL's support to Libya during the next phase of its democratic transition, including the process of preparing a new constitution, promoting rule of law and protecting human rights, restoring public security, countering illicit arms proliferation and coordinating international assistance.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the Libyan people on the election earlier in the week, as did the head of UNSMIL, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Libya, Ian Martin.

In his remarks on Monday, Mr. Martin also highlighted challenges an incoming government will face. He noted that the elections "must not blind any of us to the enormous challenges that still lie ahead," particularly that of building security institutions.

The envoy has previously voiced concern over incidents of renewed fighting throughout Libya, and called on the authorities to address the causes of the conflicts and protect civilians.

In a briefing to the Security Council in May, he said that armed clashes in recent months between various groups have tested the reach and authority of the Government's security apparatus and ability to impose the rule of law.

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