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Remarks by H.E. Mr. DAI Bing at Security Council Open VTC on UNSMIL and Libya sanctions

2020/09/02

Mr. President,

I congratulate Niger on the assumption of Security Council Presidency for the month of September. China will fully support your work this month. I also wish to commend Indonesia for the tireless efforts and professional guidance during the Presidency in August.

I would like to thank the Acting Special Representative Ms. Williams and Ambassador Sautter for their briefings. I welcome Ambassador Elsonni to this meeting.

Secretary-General’s report and Ms. Williams have made clear, and China agrees, that the current situation in Libya is complex and fragile. We see worrying tensions in Sirte and Jufra, serious problem of refugees and migrants, and a dire humanitarian situation. What’s worse, the Libyan people are suffering the impact of COVID-19. The international community should strengthen coordination to support all parties in Libya in achieving lasting peace and sustainable development. Let me elaborate on the following five points:

First, China welcomes the August 21 statements calling for a ceasefire respectively by the Government of National Accord and the House of Representatives. There is no way out through the military option, and there must be a ceasefire as the first step towards peace. We now have a rare window of opportunity. All parties to the Libyan conflict should effectively implement ceasefire, immediately halt hostilities, resume dialogue within the framework of the “5+5” Joint Military Committee, and reach a permanent ceasefire agreement. China welcomes all efforts conducive to lasting ceasefire in Libya and positive response to Secretary-General’s Appeal for a Global Ceasefire.

Second, the international community should respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Libya, stay committed to the Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process under the UN framework, effectively implement the outcomes of the Berlin Summit and relevant Security Council resolutions, and promote the implementation of UNSMIL’s three-track solution. We appreciate recent discussions on Libya by the African Union and the League of Arab States and their unique role in mediating disputes among the parties. Relevant countries should use their own influence and play constructive role in encouraging the parties to increase mutual trust and adhere to political settlement.

Third, China supports the work of UNSMIL, and we in principle support extending its mandate for 12 months as recommended by the Secretary-General. Under the current circumstances, UNSMIL should focus on promoting a ceasefire among the parties to the conflict, mobilize the international community to help the Libyan people cope with the pandemic, and step up its efforts to assist Libya in making practical and feasible plans for national reconstruction and economic reform, so as to lay a foundation for sustainable socio-economic development. The position of SRSG has been vacant for six months. China calls for appointment of a new SRSG as early as possible.

Fourth, it is China’s consistent position that sanction is a means, not the end. Sanctions regime should always serve the political settlement. We call on all member states to earnestly implement the Security Council resolutions, avoid military involvement in the Libyan conflict and interference in Libya’s internal affairs, and strictly abide the arms embargo. Meanwhile, attention should be paid to the negative impact of sanctions on Libyan civilians and third States. Sanctions should not harm the normal life and humanitarian needs of the Libyan people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sanctions Committee and its Panel of Experts should act objectively and impartially in strict accordance with the mandate, and play a positive role in advancing the Libyan political process.

Fifth, terrorism in and around Libya continues to threaten regional security and stability, and causes serious spillovers in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. The international community must stay highly vigilant on this trend, and combat terrorism in all its forms across Libya, in particular guard against the cross-border movement of foreign terrorist fighters. Libya must not be allowed to be the hotbed of regional terrorism.

China is ready to work with the international community to actively promote the political process in Libya and support its early realization of peace, stability and development.

Thank you Mr. President.

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