Libya: Paris Conference Presses for Holding Libyan Elections As Scheduled, Creating Reconciliation Commission

The final communique of the Paris International Conference on Libya has called for holding the election in the North African country as scheduled on December 24.

The statement also called for forming a reconciliation commission under the auspices of the country's Transitional Presidency Council.

The participants stressed full respect for Libya's sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity and their commitment to rejecting all foreign interference in Libyan affairs.

They praised the progress that has been made towards restoring peace and stability in Libya since the first Berlin Conference, through the signing of the ceasefire agreement on October 23, 2020, the adoption of the Libyan political road map in Tunis on November 15, 2020, and approval of the transitional government of the national unity on March 10, 2021.

The participating countries reiterated their commitment to the success of the Libyan political process, full implementation of the ceasefire agreement signed on October 23, 2020, and holding presidential and legislative elections on December 24, 2021, under the Libyan political road map and resolutions 2570 and 2571 issued by the Security Council, and the conclusions of the Second Berlin Conference.

The statement also commended the commitment of the Presidency Council and the interim Government of National Unity in Libya to ensure the success of the political transition by holding presidential and legislative elections on December 24, 2021, and implementing the ceasefire agreement through a comprehensive action plan for the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces from Libyan territory.

The Paris International Conference is organized in in support of the implementation of a Libyan-led and owned political process facilitated by the United Nations, leading to a political solution to the Libyan crisis.

The participants reaffirmed their full respect and commitment to preserving Libya's sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity, and their rejection of all foreign interference in the Libyan affairs.

They also reaffirmed the continued commitment of the international community, in partnership with Libya's interim government and other authorities, to bring peace, stability and prosperity to Libya through an inclusive political process achieved and led by the Libyans with the UN support, calling once again for the establishment of the Supreme National Reconciliation Commission under the auspices of the Presidency Council.

They also urged all actors to commit to achieving a serious national reconciliation.

The participants commended the UN role in operationalizing the conclusions of the first and second Berlin conferences and implementing relevant UNSC resolutions, including Resolutions 1325, 1970, 2570 and 2571.

They also expressed firm support for the UN mission's efforts, which aims to strengthen the inclusive political, security and economic dialogue that brings Libyans together and to monitor violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

The participants expressed their appreciation for the essential role played by the countries neighbouring Libya, the Quartet on Libya (the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union, and the United Nations), the High-level Committee on Libya of the African Union and the important efforts they are making in support of the UN-sponsored Libyan peace process

The participants called on all Libyan actors to explicitly commit to holding free, fair, inclusive and credible presidential and legislative elections on December 24 within the political roadmap endorsed by UNSC Resolutions 2570 and 2571 in 2021 and the conclusions of the second Berlin Conference, which was held on June 23, 2021, and to accepting its results.

They praised the technical steps taken to prepare for the polling process, as confirmed by the High National Elections Commission, including the registration of 2.8 million Libyans on the ballot lists.

The transfer of power from the current transitional executive authority to the elected bodies must take place after the High National Elections Commission announces the final results of the presidential and legislative elections simultaneously, to prevent any power vacuum, the statement read.

The participants stressed the importance that the electoral process have an inclusive and consultative character, thus calling on the Libyan actors to take appropriate steps with the UN support to enhance mutual trust and achieve consensus, in preparation for the upcoming elections.

They also urged the new parliament, once elected, to focus on drafting a permanent constitution that would be acceptable to all people across Libya.

The final statement urged Libyan leaders and institutions to take specific measures to ensure genuine women representation in the new parliament and to involve civil society in these efforts.

They warned that individuals or entities inside or outside Libya that may attempt to obstruct, undermine, or fraud the electoral process will be held accountable and may be included in the list of the United Nations Sanctions Committee.

The final statement urged UN member states, as well as regional and international organizations to provide electoral observers, in coordination with the Libyan authorities.

"We underline the importance of further Libyan steps towards unification of the Central Bank of Libya and for the implementation, without delay, of the recommendations of the international financial audit review," the world leaders said in the final communique.

"We stress the need for a transparent management and equitable distribution of resources and delivery of public services across the whole country, and we call on the interim Government of National Unity to continue its efforts to restore the unity of Libyan economic and financial institutions and to improve basic services for the benefit of all people in Libya, wherever they live in the country. In this regard, we commend efforts exerted towards the reunification of Libyan sovereign institutions," the statement added.

The participants called on all stakeholders to respect and safeguard the integrity and unity of Libyan financial institutions and of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), in line with UNSC resolutions 2259 (2015), 2441 (2018) and 2571 (2021).

They voiced concern regarding continuous attempts of armed groups to exert control over the NOC and oil exports, affirming that such actions may pose a threat to the peace, security and stability of Libya.

"We call on the Libyan House of Representatives and the interim Government of National Unity to resume consultations towards approving a balanced and consensual national budget. We stress the importance of regularizing the budget formulation and promulgation process to enhance budgetary governance, transparency and accountability and in the meantime, of publishing information on spending under financial arrangements," the statement read.

"We underscore that unified, democratically elected authorities accountable to the people and dedicated to transparency, unity, fighting corruption, and providing for the needs of the people throughout Libya would send a positive signal that assets, once unfrozen, would be managed and used for the stability and development of Libya and for the prosperity of the Libyan people. In this respect, we affirm our intention to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of UNSC resolution 1970 (2011) shall be made available to and for the benefit of the Libyan people at a future time to be decided by the UNSC. We commit to helping the relevant Libyan authorities to promote the integrity and unity and good governance of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), including through a credible, comprehensive audit of the LIA and its subsidiaries," it added.

"We recall the obligation of the Libyan interim authorities and all actors in Libya to fully respect international law, in particular international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including those regarding the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure. We welcome the efforts of the Libyan interim authorities to respect and fulfil their obligations. We urge all actors in Libya to guarantee the full, safe and unhindered access of the United Nations and international humanitarian agencies to all people in need, Libyans and non-Libyans, in coordination with Libyan authorities, including in all places of detention. We underline the importance of access to humanitarian assistance to all people in Libya, in full respect of the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, consistent with international human rights law and international humanitarian law," the participants said.

"We emphasize that all those responsible for violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, Libyan and foreign, will be held accountable, including through the measures set forth in relevant UNSC resolutions, including 1970 (2011). We recall the urgency of ending all violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in Libya including arbitrary arrest and detention, inhuman and degrading conditions of detention and of ensuring access to justice for all, particularly women and girls, on issues of sexual and gender-based violence. In this respect, we acknowledge the work done by the committee of Libyan experts and human rights activists, convened by UNSMIL and OHCHR, to develop appropriate legislation aimed at preventing and combating violence against women," they added.

"We commit to condemning and acting against all violations and abuses of migrants, acts of migrant smuggling and human trafficking, or facilitation thereof

Noting that Libya is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, we welcome the work of the UNSMIL and UN agencies, funds and programmes in coordinating and supporting the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection for refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers. We recognize the efforts and engagement of the Libyan interim authorities in resolving issues relating to migration despite challenges on the ground. We call for the full implementation of existing measures and for the reporting of violations to the UNSC Sanctions Committee," the statement said.

"We recall that all violations and abuses of migrants, acts of migrant smuggling and human trafficking, as well as all other violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in Libya, that constitute a threat to international peace and security, may be a basis for designation for targeted UNSC sanctions including travel ban and the freezing of assets," it added.

"We recall the necessity to implement the Libyan political roadmap's provisions to respect political and civil rights, democratic principles and equality of all citizens, including the rejection of hate speech, incitement or the use of violence in the political process. We call on all Libyan actors to respect economic, social and cultural rights, as well as fundamental freedoms including the rights to freedom of assembly and association and freedom of expression and recognizing the critical role of civil society in ensuring the legitimacy of electoral processes. Libyan civil society, including human rights defenders and journalists, must be protected as key partners and interlocutors to help ensure peace and stability in the political process," the statement read.

"We underline the important role of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission mandated by the UN Human Rights Council (in Resolution 43/39 of 22 June 2020) in establishing facts and circumstances and documenting alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties in Libya since the beginning of 2016, with a view to ensuring accountability, that should also form part of the national the reconciliation process, and we take note of the Mission's report to the Human Rights Council in September 2021. We call for full, safe and unhindered access of the Mission to all parts of the country to fulfil its mandate. We welcome the efforts and steps made by the interim Government of National Unity towards reforming and restructuring the national human rights institution and we welcome its continued full cooperation with the Independent Fact-Finding Mission including during its visit to Libya from 23 to 26 August 2021. We welcome the interim Government of National Unity's commitment to respecting and fulfilling Libyan international obligations, including under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. We emphasize the importance of providing technical assistance and capacity building to Libya," it added.

"We welcome the continued resumption of voluntary humanitarian evacuation and voluntary humanitarian return flights of migrants and refugees out of Libya and we acknowledge the cooperation of Libyan interim authorities in that regard. We are committed to assisting, as appropriate, the Libyan authorities in developing a comprehensive and gender-responsive approach to addressing migration and forced displacement, in collaboration with UN agencies and programs, consistent with the principles of regional and international cooperation and in compliance with international law. We underline the positive role played by the United Nations, the African Union, and the European Union as part of the tripartite mechanism and we invite them to intensify their efforts," it concluded.

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