The United Nations’ former envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame attacked the Security Council on Wednesday, saying he had been “stabbed in the back” and accused the member states of “hypocrisy”.
According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report, the former UN envoy said the “deregulated” international system was now such that “leaders of important countries do not feel any scruples” about making false statements.
Salame added that the situation in Libya had showed a collapse in “multilateralism” and international cooperation, with the UN becoming “a theater of the absurd”.
Asked what his message was to the countries responsible, he said: “I’m very angry!”
Salame announced his resignation in March, citing health reasons, nearly three years after taking up the post. He resigned almost a year after warlord Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive in April 2019 to seize the capital Tripoli, seat of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Speaking to the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), a Swiss-based private diplomacy organisation, Salame said Wednesday he had felt “irrelevant” and “stabbed in the back by most of the Security Council members because, the day he attacked Tripoli, Haftar had most of them supporting him.”
Salame said Haftar’s offensive had halted peace efforts the UN had been preparing for a year. He said “important countries” — which he did not name — had been “plotting” to prevent the conference from taking place.
“They didn’t want it to happen,” he said.
“You could see clearly that Haftar was confident that a number of big powers were supporting this attack and he mentioned some of them by name. He even quoted from conversations he had with their leaders,” Salame added.
“That’s where you felt, as the UN, that the hypocrisy of countries at this stage has reached limits that make your work very problematic.” Salame indicated, according to AFP.