Aside from UNSC members, this event was also attended by representatives of Libya, its neighbouring countries, and the nations and regional organisations present at the Berlin Conference.
In his remarks, UN Secretary-General António Guterres voiced concerns about the alarming military build-up with foreign interference reaching unprecedented levels in Libya. He also condemned attacks on civilians and civilian facilities, including 21 attacks on medical facilities since the year’s beginning.
He repeated countries’ pledge to promote a peaceful solution to the conflict in Libya and urged relevant parties in this country to immediately cease fighting, resume negotiations and ensure full humanitarian access amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary-General noted he directly liaised with leaders of parties in Libya to promote these issues, stressing that the relevant sides in Libya and UN member states have the responsibility for fully implementing the UNSC arms embargo on Libya.
At the meeting, countries and regional organisations also expressed their concerns about the Libya conflict amid COVID-19, called for peace talks to be resumed with the help of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), and underlined the importance of ending foreign interference and fully adhering to the UNSC arms embargo.
Foreign Minister of Germany, which holds the UNSC Presidency in July, Heiko Maas suggested a demilitarised zone be created around Sirte city in the context that a long-term ceasefire agreement has yet to be reached.
Some countries stressed the necessity to deal with violations of the international human rights and humanitarian laws in Libya.
Meanwhile, a Libyan representative reaffirmed that the existing administration in Libya – the Government of National Accord – is the sole legitimate government of the country, asking the international community and the UNSC to take more concrete actions to promote conflict settlement.
For his part, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN, reiterated the importance of promoting the commitments made at the Berlin
Libya, which were supported by UNSC Resolution 2510.
He urged relevant parties in this country to immediately stop fighting and return to the peace talks encompassing political, military and economic strands.
Quy also recognised efforts by the UN, the UNSMIL, neighbouring countries of Libya and regional organisations in promoting peace in this nation, while emphasising the significance of complying with the UNSC arms embargo on Libya.
The diplomat renewed Vietnam’s support for UNSMIL activities and shared the view on the need to appoint a new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya to replace Ghassan Salamé, who resigned in early March.
The Libya conflict remains one of the fiercest armed conflicts in the world at present despite a worldwide ceasefire appeal by the UN Secretary-General in the face of COVID-19.
According to the UNSMIL, civilian casualties from the conflict in Libya surpassed 300 in the first half of 2020, up 172% from the same period last year. More than 400,000 people have also made homeless since April 2019.
Meanwhile, Libya recorded 1,182 infections of COVID-19, including 35 deaths, as of July 8.