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Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Stephanie Williams announces the launch of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum process

Acting Special Representative of the Secretary -General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Stephanie Williams is pleased to announce the launch of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which will convene its first virtual meeting on Monday, 26 October 2020. The direct, in-person meeting of the LPDF will kick off on 9 November 2020 in the Tunisian capital.

The resumption of the LPDF comes at time of an overwhelming sense of hope emerged in Libya after the signing of a permanent, countrywide ceasefire agreement between Libyan parties, on 23 October in Geneva. Consultative meetings UNSMIL conducted with various Libyan constituencies in past months have paved the way for the resumption of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.

As the United Nations marks its seventy-fifth anniversary of the entry into force of its founding Charter, UNSMIL will welcome 75 Libyan participants to the first virtual meeting of the inclusive Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) on Monday.

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) is a fully inclusive intra-Libyan political dialogue established by the Berlin Conference Outcomes, which were endorsed by Security Council resolutions 2510 (2020) and 2542 (2020).

Invited participants in the LPDF (listed below in alphabetical order) are drawn from different constituencies, based on the principles of inclusivity, fair geographic, ethnic, political, tribal, and social representation. The group was convened by the United Nations to include representatives of the House of Representative, of the High Council of State as well as vibrant Libyan political actors who are not members of the two institutions, and with a firm commitment to the meaningful participation of Libyan women and youth and minorities.

During the online consultation meeting on Monday participants in the LPDF will be briefed on the intra-Libyan economic and military tracks facilitated by UNSMIL as well as run human rights and international humanitarian law track. They will also hear the recommendations emerged from the consultative meetings with Mayors, and representatives of women and youth groups.

Throughout this process, UNSMIL will ensure transparency and a rights-based approach and will continue to hear the views of all Libyans and intends to remain actively engaged with large segments of the Libyan society, including through interactive online tools and platform. Towards this end, and in order to ensure the inclusivity of the process, UNSMIL will be launching an interactive Al-Hiwar website to listen to the views of, discuss and interact with the Libyans throughout the LPDF process.

UNSMIL urges participants to the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum to shoulder their responsibility before the Libyan people and engage constructively and in good faith in the talks and to uphold the interests of Libya. The Mission praises the willingness of participants to pledge to recuse themselves from running for, or assuming political and sovereign positions during the period preceding the national elections, as demanded by the Libyan people.

The Mission also wishes to recognize the sense of responsibility and patriotism of those who recused themselves from participating in the LPDF for the sake of transparency and legitimacy of this process as they wish to run for executive positions in the preparatory period.

The overall objective of the LPDF will be to generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to holding national elections in the shortest possible timeframe in order to restore Libya’s sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions. In this regard, UNSMIL commends the courageous announcement of Prime Minister Faez al-Serraj of his intention to step down and hand over power to a unified executive and his support to the political process and sense of responsibility to ensure that an orderly transition can take place. The Mission hopes that Mr. al-Serraj can provide another service to the country by remaining in place until such time as the LPDF decides the way forward.

The Mission expresses its gratitude to the Tunisian government for providing all necessary support and facilitations to allow the holding of the in-person meetings in Tunisia, especially in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mission is equally grateful for the constructive political and material support received by Libya’s neighbours, the African Union, the European Union and the League of Arab States, as well as to the members of the international community in supporting this process.

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