Official speeches and statements - November 25, 2020
France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom welcome the results of the first round of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum which took place in Tunis from November 7 to 15, based on UNSC resolution 2510 (2020) and the conclusions of the Berlin Conference on Libya.
At the Forum, the Libyans agreed on a road map to national elections on December 24, 2021. This is an important step to restore Libya’s sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of its institutions.
These political efforts build upon the comprehensive ceasefire agreement concluded in Geneva on October 23 and progress within the Libyan Joint Military Commission (5+5). We reiterate our call on the Libyan parties to fully implement the ceasefire agreement. In this respect we commend the efforts made by the Libyan parties during their meetings in the Libyan towns of Ghadames, Sirte and Brega.
France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom also welcome the widespread resumption of oil production and Libyan discussions on reforming security provision at oil installations. It is clear that these arrangements must remain firmly in Libyan hands. We also urge Libyan parties, with the support of UNSMIL, to agree a mechanism for the fair and transparent use of oil revenues, for the benefit of the Libyan people.
France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom are looking forward to the next session of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum starting virtually on November 23. We fully share and support the overall objective of the LPDF to generate consensus on a new unified governance framework, based on the agreement reached in Tunis outlining the structure and prerogatives for the new reformed Presidency Council and a separate head of government who will lead the transition. To achieve this result would send a strong signal of unity and Libyan ownership of the country’s political future.
France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom congratulate Acting SRSG Stephanie Williams for her tremendous work and express their full support to the UNSMIL-led process, and call on all Libyan and international parties to refrain from any parallel and uncoordinated initiative which risks to undermine the UN-led efforts. We are ready to take measures against those who obstruct the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum and other tracks of the Berlin process, as well as those who continue to plunder state funds or commit human rights abuses and violations throughout the country.
More than ever, today, we stand with the immense majority of Libyans who reject the status quo, any military or violent option to settle the crisis and terrorism. We share their opposition to all foreign interference, and support their willingness to come together in peaceful and patriotic dialogue.
[translation from French]
I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for her presentation. Madam Special Representative, you have the full support of France, and I would like to commend the absolutely remarkable work of UNAMI under your leadership, as well as that of the entire UN family in Iraq.
Today I would like to address three points.
First of all, I would like to express France’s support for Mr. Kadhimi’s Iraqi government, as the President of the Republic did during his visit to Iraq in September and as he did again during the Iraqi Prime Minister’s visit to Paris in October. Together with the Iraqi government, we will continue our efforts to mobilize the country’s regional and international partners in support of an initiative to strengthen its stability and security.
The Iraqi authorities are carrying out very ambitious reforms in a context made even more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic. And these reforms are absolutely essential, as you said, to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Iraqis by modernizing the economy, reforming the administration, strengthening the protection of human rights and resolutely fighting corruption.
We welcomed the announcement of early elections in June 2021. UNAMI’s support to the Iraqi authorities and the Independent High Electoral Commission in the organization of these elections is extremely valuable, all of this to ensure that the elections will of course be free and transparent. A broad participation of all components of society, especially youth and women, will of course be crucial in building the democratic future of the country. France is contributing one million euros to the financing of UNAMI’s activities in this area, and it encourages the entire international community to work to ensure that these elections run smoothly and that there is full confidence in the electoral process.
We also welcome the progress in the dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil. The Sinjar agreement is very promising in this regard. The projects we are supporting in the region in the health sector will also make it possible to support this movement in the service of the population.
Despite the promising announcements and the progress made on the ground, however, we remain concerned about the attacks targeting demonstrators, civil society, human rights defenders and journalists. It is imperative that the perpetrators be prosecuted, as trust cannot be built without justice.
My second point concerns the security challenges facing Iraq. Terrorism is the first of them. It is our common challenge. The fight against Daesh is not over. The international coalition’s military contribution in support of the Iraqi authorities remains indispensable even if its modalities of action can be adapted to the changing threat in the first place, of course. UNITAD’s work is absolutely essential in the fight against impunity.
It is also crucial that the Iraqi State hold the monopoly on the exercise of force in the country. The action of certain armed groups is very worrying, especially the unacceptable attacks on diplomatic strongholds. And we welcome the efforts that have been undertaken by the Iraqi government to stop them.
In such a context, it is all the more essential to ensure that Iraq remains free from regional tensions and that its sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected.
In this regard, we welcome the Iraqi government’s strong commitment to balanced and good-neighborly diplomacy. The recent progress in the return of remains of Kuwaiti and third country nationals is testimony to this. It is important that they continue.
Finally, and this is my third point, I would like to say a word about the humanitarian situation. Every effort must be made to ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all those in need of assistance in Iraq. And I am thinking in particular of the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons, who must be able to continue to receive assistance when they leave the camps. The recent announcements of camp closures must be implemented in a coordinated manner, and accompanied by a concrete plan to support the return of people.
This is all the more crucial as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in the country at an extremely worrying rate.
It is also essential to intensify vaccination campaigns, as the pandemic has led to a 20-30% decrease in vaccination rates in the country. We have a collective responsibility in this regard to prevent avoidable outbreaks of polio or measles.
So there are many challenges, as you said, Madam Special Representative. But France is determined to accompany Iraq at this important moment in its history.