In her farewell statement as the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, Stephanie Williams said yesterday that the only way forward for Libya is through the holding of elections.
She said the Libyan political elite, locked in an eleven-year stalemate since the 2011 revolution that ended the 42-year-old Qaddafi regime, must make the necessary historic compromises to enable the needed breakthroughs.
Here is her full statement:
‘‘As I conclude my mission as the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, I would like to thank the Libyan people and the hundreds of interlocutors with whom I have had the privilege to meet and engage over the past eight months in Libya and abroad for their trust and cooperation with my efforts to put Libya back on the pathway to elections within a firm constitutional framework.
When the Secretary-General requested that I undertake this Mission last December, he made it clear that my top priority should be to listen to the millions of Libyans who registered to vote to go to the ballot box to restore the legitimacy of the country’s institutions via national elections. I believe it is only with the establishment of a consensual constitutional framework which sets the milestones, the contract between the governed and those who govern them, and the guardrails for the end of the transitional period through national elections that the current political stalemate and recurrent executive crisis can be overcome. Libyan leaders have a clear responsibility towards their fellow citizens and future generations to make the necessary historic compromises to enable the needed breakthroughs.
I have endeavored to reach out to the broadest possible spectrum of interlocutors and representatives of Libya’s political, security and social domains to listen and understand their concerns, their vision for the future of their country and their ideas and suggestions to help Libya end the long period of transition that has beset the country since 2011. I have listened to the testimonies of the many victims of human rights abuses, from Tarhouna to Tawergha, Benghazi to Murzug, Warshafana and Tripoli and all points in between. Those who have committed grave abuses must be held accountable for their actions in order for the country to move forward.
I have led the three intra-Libyan tracks laid out by the Berlin Conference and enshrined in the subsequent United Nations Security Council resolutions. I appreciate the commitment of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission, with whom I have had the pleasure to work for over two years, to maintain the October 2020 ceasefire agreement and to press ahead with plans to unify the military institutions and to arrange the departure of mercenaries and foreign forces who violate Libyan sovereignty. I also appreciate their commitment to the principle of civilian oversight of the military, a principle which must be upheld. I applaud the lifting of the oil blockade but am concerned about efforts to politicize the National Oil Corporation (NOC). The NOC and all sovereign institutions should enjoy complete autonomy and independence from political maneuvering. The country’s revenues must be transparently managed and the recommendations of the UN-facilitated audit of the Central Bank of Libya should be fully implemented, including the much-needed unification of the bank.
I thank the Secretary-General for entrusting me with the leadership of the United Nations good offices, and the terrific United Nations team in Libya for their steadfast support throughout my tenure. I also wish to thank the Regional Organizations and many Member States that have supported the UN efforts.
Youth and women
Last, but not least: throughout my mission I have advocated for the inclusion of youth in the political process. Their voices must be lifted. I have also advocated for the too many women who have been attacked, abused, illegally detained, disappeared and perished for their political ideas. I urge Libyan leaders and institutions to commit seriously to protecting women’s participation in public life. There can be no meaningful participation without protection. Violence against women in Libya must stop.’’