Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador J Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations in New York during the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Libya – 18 January 2019

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As stated by H.E. Ambassador J Matjila

We would like to add our voice in thanking you for convening this meeting today, and to thank SRSG Mr Ghassan Salame for his comprehensive briefing to the Council today. This briefing is timely given the discussions the Council has been having this week, on Mali and Sudan sanctions, wherein there has been recognition of the implications of the Libyan crises throughout the region. I would like to focus my intervention on the political process and the humanitarian situation. My delegation supports and encourages the efforts of Dr Ghassan Salamé, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to work with all Libyan parties to reach an acceptable and lasting political solution. We welcome the efforts made by the SRSG in engaging with all relevant stakeholders in support of the implementation of the United Nations Action Plan and look forward to the convening of the National Conference in order to move beyond the political transition phase and fully unite the country. As a member of the AU High-Level Committee on Libya, we will continue to support the United Nations and the African Union in their common cause to jointly coordinate activities which will contribute to a peaceful resolution of the current crisis. We wish to recall that at its 31st Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania in July 2018 the African Union Assembly reiterated its “deep concern over the persistent security situation in Libya, which continues to prolong the suffering of the Libyan people”. The Chair of the AU’s High-Level Committee and the AU Commission Chair have reaffirmed their common desire to assist all stakeholders to overcome the serious crises facing Libya. In this regard, they have agreed to re-launch preparations for the national reconciliation conference with all relevant stakeholders, as provided for the in roadmap adopted by the AU’s High-Level Committee on Libya. Mr President, On the humanitarian front, my delegation is concerned over the deteriorating humanitarian situation, especially as some humanitarian actors face challenges which restrict their access to parts of parts of the country. We condemn the loss of civilian lives during the violence in Tripoli and support the Secretary-General’s call for all commitments made under the September 2018 ceasefire agreement to be adhered to in order to maintain calm and avoid further violence in the capital. We also call on all parties to fully respect international humanitarian law and to ensure that all possible measures are put in place to avoid conflict. We urge all parties to move towards constructive dialogue for a mutually acceptable negotiated agreement. As the Council, we must do all we can to assist and support all stakeholders in moving this process forward. Lastly Mr President, my delegation welcomes the work of the Presidency Council’s Women Empowerment and Support Unit aimed at advancing gender equality and the full participation of women in the political and economic spheres. Including women as part of the political dialogue is essential to ensuring that all sectors of Libyan society are included in charting their own futures and oaths to peace and security. As South Africa, through our own liberation struggle, we know first-hand the importance of incorporating women in the peace process and the benefits that are derived from inclusivity of the whole population. I thank you

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.