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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing on Security Council VTC on UNSMIL

2021/03/24

Madam President,

I thank Special Envoy Kubiš for his briefing, and I welcome Ambassador El-Sonni, Permanent Representative of Libya, to the meeting. The situation in Libya has caught the attention of the international community. The political process has continued to make progress. The people have ushered in a new dawn, and the country's development has entered a new stage. We sincerely hope that all parties in Libya will put the interests of the country and people first, maintain the current momentum and continue to redouble their efforts and work together towards lasting peace and development. The international community should provide more help and support to Libya. I will focus on the following four points.

First, the political process must be consolidated and advanced continuously. China applauds the formation of the new government in Libya, and hopes it will take over all executive functions as soon as possible to end the longstanding fragmentation and achieve national unity and political stability. We hope that under the leadership of the new government, all parties will continue to advance the political process in accordance with the road map and address differences by peaceful means such as dialogue and consultations. The international community must create good conditions for this. UNSMIL should, under the leadership of Mr. Kubiš, strengthen coordination and cooperation with all parties and international and regional organizations in providing targeted assistance to the political transition in Libya, especially with regards to the general elections.

Second, maintaining the ceasefire is a prerequisite for the advancement of the political process. The top priority now is to deploy the ceasefire monitoring mechanism as soon as possible to facilitate the consolidation of peace in the country. Not long ago, the UN advanced team was in Libya to carry out its work. And it submitted its report on the establishment of the ceasefire monitoring mechanism, in which it suggests that UNSMIL provide support to all parties in Libya in implementing the ceasefire agreement and UNSMIL assume certain responsibilities for ceasefire monitoring. This deserves serious consideration by the Council. China maintains that the Council should reach consensus quickly on the UN's participation in the ceasefire monitoring arrangement in accordance with Libyan-lead and Libyan-owned principle. Maintaining the ceasefire ultimately depends on all parties, not the monitoring mechanism itself. We call upon all parties in Libya to continue to demonstrate their commitment to ceasefire and call on parties concerned to withdraw all foreign forces as soon as possible. We expect unity of the international community in this aspect.

Third, it is important to restore economic development at an early date. Libya was one of the more developed African countries. Ten years of turmoil has caused collapse of its economy and hardship for its people. COVID-19 has aggravated humanitarian crisis it faces. Without development, peace cannot be sustained and consolidated. At present, Libya has a rare opportunity for its post-war reconstruction, and the people of Libya increasingly long for development and a peaceful life. The Libyan Government should scale up its input in economic and social development and restore public services soon in order to effectively improve people's livelihood. China calls on the international community to actively support Libya in fighting the pandemic and help the country achieve development at an early date.

Fourth, China has repeatedly stressed that sanctions are only means, not an end. Given the current circumstances, we should strictly enforce the arms embargo on Libya, while avoiding the negative impact of sanctions in other areas on Libyan civilians and third countries. On Libya's concern about the loss caused by the freeze, the sanctions committee should consider as soon as possible how to respond to the legitimate concerns of the country. The leak of the annual report by the panel experts of the Libyan sanctions committee before its official release has caused much hype. We hope that further measures will be taken to prevent such an incident from happening again.

Madam President,

Peace and reconstruction of Libya still remains an arduous task. China will continue to work with the international community to contribute to the early achievement of lasting stability, prosperity, and development in Libya.

Thank you, Madam President.

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