Paris Conference on Libya: Support for timely elections, exit of mercenaries

The participants of the Paris International Conference on Libya on Friday reaffirmed their full respect and commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya, rejecting all foreign interferences in Libyan affairs. 

Paris Conference was held at the invitation of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and was co-convened by the Chancellor of Germany, the President of the Italian Council of Ministers, the President of the interim Presidential Council of Libya, the Prime Minister of the interim Government of National Unity of Libya, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The countries and regional organizations that participated in the Conference include Algeria, Chad, China, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo (chair of the African Union), Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait (Chair of the Ministerial Council of the League of Arab States), Malta, Morocco, the Netherlands, Niger, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, the Republic of the Congo (Chair of the African Union High-Level Committee on Libya), the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the Executive Secretariat of the Group of Five for the Sahel. 

Mercenaries must leave

The final statement of the conference issued by the French Presidency expressed the participant’s full support for the comprehensive “Action Plan for the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces from the Libyan territory” developed by the 5+5 JMC in line with UNSC resolution 2570 (2021) including through the prompt development of timelines, as a first step towards the full implementation of the 23 October 2020 ceasefire agreement and UNSC resolution 2570.

They also reiterated they are committed to facilitating its synchronized, phased, gradual and balanced implementation as set out in the action plan and called on all relevant actors to implement its provisions without delay, noting that the repatriation of mercenaries, foreign fighters, foreign forces and non-state armed actors will require the guidance of the 5+5 JMC with the support of UNSMIL and swift coordination between their countries of origin and Libya.

They commended the meeting of the 5+5 JMC with neighboring countries (Chad, Niger, Sudan) in Cairo from 30 October to 1 November 2021 to agree on a concept of a communication and coordination mechanism, while Turkey, which is also attending the conference, introduced a reservation with regard to the status of foreign forces, rejecting the label “mercenaries” to all foreign forces in Libya.

Commitment to elections

The participants stressed the importance for all Libyan stakeholders to commit unequivocally to the holding of free, fair, inclusive and credible presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 December 2021 as stipulated in the Libyan political roadmap and endorsed in UNSC resolutions 2570 and 2571 (2021) as well as the conclusions of the second Berlin conference of 23 June 2021, and to accept their outcomes.

“We commend the technical steps already taken to prepare for the voting, as confirmed by the High National Elections Commission (HNEC), including the registration of 2.8 million Libyans on the electoral lists. We take note of the announcement of the opening of the registration process for presidential and parliamentary candidates, as well as of an electoral timeline for presidential and parliamentary elections starting on 24 December 2021. We also take note of the HNEC’s announcement that final results for both presidential and parliamentary elections shall be announced simultaneously.” The statement reads.

The statement reiterated that It is the participants’ understanding that, to avoid any vacuum of power, the transfer of power from the current interim executive authority to the new executive authority will take place following the simultaneous announcement by the HNEC of the final results of both presidential and parliamentary elections. 

They also urged all Libyan stakeholders and candidates to respect their commitments towards holding elections on 24 December 2021, to publicly commit to respecting the rights of their political opponents before, during and after the elections, to accept the results of free, fair and inclusive elections, and to commit to the Code of Conduct prepared by the HNEC.

“We affirm that individuals or entities, inside or outside of Libya, who might attempt to obstruct, undermine, manipulate or falsify the electoral process and the political transition will be held accountable and may be designated by the United Nations Sanctions Committee in accordance with UNSC resolution 2571 (2021).” The statement adds.

The participants encouraged United Nations Member States and international and regional organizations to provide electoral observers, in coordination with the Libyan authorities, in particular with the interim Government of National Unity and the HNEC. 

Economic stability

The statement underlined the importance of further Libyan steps toward unification of the Central Bank of Libya and for the implementation, without delay, of the recommendations of the international financial audit review, stressing the need for a transparent management and equitable distribution of resources and delivery of public services across the whole country, and it called 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, commending in this regard the efforts exerted towards the reunification of Libyan sovereign institutions. 

“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 of spending under financial arrangements.” The statement reads.

Humanitarian efforts

The participants recalled 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. 

They urged 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, adding that they are committed to condemning and acting against all violations and abuses of migrants, acts of migrant smuggling and human trafficking, or facilitation thereof.

“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 reconciliation process, and we take note of the Mission’s report to the Human Rights Council in September 2021. ” The statement remarked, calling for full, safe and unhindered access of the Mission to all parts of the country to fulfil its mandate.


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