On Saturday, the Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Williams, announced the resumption of inclusive intra-Libyan talks. Such talks are based on Security Council resolution 2510 (2020), which endorsed the conclusions of the Berlin Conference on Libya held on 19 January, 2020.
In a statement, Williams added that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) will be held according to a hybrid formula, through a series of virtual sessions as well as face-to-face meetings due to circumstances linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UNSMIL head voiced her deep gratitude to the government of the Republic of Tunisia for hosting the first face-to-face meeting of the LPDF in early November, following the preparatory virtual consultations.
“The overall objective of the LPDF will be to generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to the holding of national elections in the shortest possible timeframe in order to restore Libya’s sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions,” UNSMIL stated.
It pointed out that the LPDF will be based on the progress and the consensual views emerging from the recent consultations among Libyans, including the Montreux recommendations and the understandings reached in Bouznika and Cairo.
UNSMIL added that the meeting is a part of extensive consultations held as part of the National Conference Process, which highlighted the mutual Libyan demands for: an end to the transitional period; the holding of national elections; and, the establishment of an effective executive body that can provide basic services to the Libyan people.
UNSMIL confirmed that participants in the LPDF will be drawn from key Libyan constituencies, based on the principles of inclusivity, fair geographic, ethnic, political, tribal, and social representation, and with a firm commitment to the meaningful participation of Libyan women and youth, noting that it will strive to ensure broad consultations, transparency, and a rights-based approach during this Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process in which multiple voices will be heard.
In advance of the in-person political talks in Tunisia, UNSMIL will convene LPDF participants through preparatory virtual meetings, starting on 26 October.
The virtual meetings will also include consultations with large segments of the Libyan society, including youth, women and municipalities, who will be requested to offer concrete recommendations to the LPDF participants.
The United Nations will hold direct, face-to-face talks between delegations of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) in Geneva beginning on 19 October, with the hospitality of the Government of Switzerland. The JMC 5+5 talks will build on previous deliberations and on the recommendations that emerged from the meeting held in Hurghada from 28 to 30 September, hosted by the Egyptian authorities, under UNSMIL auspices.
The United Nations urges a complete stand-down of all military manoeuvres and reinforcements to enable an agreement on a lasting ceasefire, including a demilitarised zone in central Libya, as well as to create the space for constructive political discussions.
Prior to the convening of the LPDF, the United Nations will facilitate consultations between delegations of the Libyan Parliament and the High Council of State on constitutional matters in Cairo between 11 and 13 October, with the hospitality of the Government of Egypt.