Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Libya

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Libya

As prepared. Check against delivery.

Mr. President,

I want to thank the French delegation for initiating and the Italian presidency for convening today’s briefing on the situation with migrants in Libya.

News reports about African migrants being sold as slaves cannot be left without response from the international community and the Security Council in particular. So thank you again, Francois and Sebastiano.

Mr. President,

The situation in Libya has featured prominently on the Council’s agenda during this month. It has a direct impact on the stability of neighboring states, the Sahel and the Mediterranean. Largely due to the current crisis in Libya, the latter is facing numerous challenges ranging from terrorist threats to irregular migration flows.

As we stated in this Chamber just one week ago, Ukraine strongly condemns continuing violations of human rights in detention centers in Libya, where African migrants are being systematically abused and harassed. Reports about slave auctions are shocking and horrifying. It is appalling that this heinous crime is taking place in the 21st century.

In this regard, my delegation joins other Council members in their appeal to all competent authorities in Libya to investigate these activities and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. We would also like to encourage the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate these atrocities as well.

Mr. President,

The current situation with migrants constitutes only one among many elements of the ongoing instability in Libya. Lack of progress on the political track and security vacuum have been exploited by criminal networks that flourished to unprecedented degree. Arbitrary detentions, torture, kidnappings, unlawful killings, trafficking in persons, smuggling of drugs and arms – all have become a daily reality in the country. Only a comprehensive approach to the root causes of the current conflict may alleviate the suffering by the Libyan people.

In this regard, we believe it is vital now to invest more efforts in the political process. My delegation reiterates its support to SRSG Hassan Salamé, as he currently works with the parties to advance implementation of the UN Action Plan for the resumption of an inclusive Libyan-owned political process.

We call on all involved to continue consultations until a compromise on amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement is reached. In our view, the LPA remains the only viable framework to end the current crisis in Libya. Any attempts to undermine this process are unacceptable and should be rejected.

The longer the state of limbo in Libya continues, the stronger slave trade and other unlawful activities will get entrenched in the country.

Mr. President,

Ukraine believes that without economic opportunities, particularly for the youth in Africa, there is a risk that the Northern African and sub-Saharan regions will remain unstable zones with terrorists and criminals exploiting the void left by the state for illegal trafficking in persons and arms.

Achieving a sustainable peace and stability in Libya as well as in the region requires more investments into social-economic development. Without functioning government structures, provision of most essential social services, working law-enforcement and judicial organs, vulnerable communities in Libya and other conflict-affected countries will remain an easy target for criminals.

Thus, initiatives on fighting terrorism, bringing economic development, addressing migration flows, and ensuring respect for human rights, must go hand in hand and complement each other.

I thank you.