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Guterres commends Libya forum for breakthrough on interim leadership deal

January 19, 2021

Stephanie Turco Williams, acting special representative of the secretary-general and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. — courtesy UNSMIL
Stephanie Turco Williams, acting special representative of the secretary-general and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. — courtesy UNSMIL

NEW YORK — The UN Secretary-General has praised the breakthrough made by a key committee of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum at the weekend, over an interim political leadership deal, ahead of nationwide elections at the end of the year.

Announcing the development on Saturday, Acting UN Libya envoy Stephanie Williams said that Libyan envoys who had traveled to the Swiss city had broken the “deadlock” over selecting representatives for a temporary executive, from all regions of the country.

The nation has been divided into warring factions since the overthrow of President Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with bloody conflict between the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west, and the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the east.

The terms of the Geneva deal were due to be voted on Monday, by the 75 members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, in Tunis.

'Best possible compromise'

The envoy described the proposal as “the best possible compromise” as it “respects the regional dimension and ...encourages people to work across the divide and across regions, in order to strengthen understanding and to build unity in the country”.

The temporary authority will be replaced by a permanent, democratically elected government, chosen by the Libyan people.

“It is important to reflect and to remind everyone that what we are talking about here is a temporary, unified executive authority that will be replaced by a permanent, democratically elected government, chosen by the Libyan people on December 24th of this year,” Williams explained.

‘Decisive role’

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, UN chief António Guterres commended in particular the “decisive role played by women representatives and the Southern members, to forge consensus” over a recommended mechanism for selecting the executive.

“The secretary-general calls on the members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum to participate constructively in the vote on the selection mechanism and press ahead on the path to national elections on Dec. 24, 2021”.

Guterres also reiterated the support of the entire UN for the people of Libya, in their efforts to advance peace and stability.

Kubiš appointed new Special Envoy

The UN chief also made the formal announcement on Monday that Ján Kubiš of Slovakia is to be the new Special Envoy on Libya and Head of the Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Guterres said in the statement that he was “grateful for the commitment and outstanding leadership”, of Acting Special Representative Stephanie Williams, who has moved the political process of reconstituting the war-torn country forward considerably during her time in the key role.

Kubiš, who has served as Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), since 2019, brings with him many years of experience in diplomacy, foreign security policy, and international economic relations, both internationally and in his own country, the statement said. — UN News


January 19, 2021
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