NEW YORK, United States of America
The Security Council today renewed measures designed to implement the arms embargo against Libya for another year, in particular those authorizing Member States to inspect vessels on the high seas off the country’s coast when reasonable grounds exist to believe they are violating the ban.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2473 (2019) under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council extended authorizations set out in resolution 2420 (2018). It also requested the Secretary-General to report within 11 months on the text’s implementation.
During a brief debate, Council members, underscoring the need to keep the embargo in place, reiterated calls for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, emphasizing that there is no military solution to the conflict. The representative of the United Kingdom, the text’s main sponsor, echoed other speakers in urging a return to dialogue and a political process facilitated by the United Nations.
The speaker for France noted that, despite a temporary suspension of Operation Sophia, the European Union naval force established in 2015 to combat human smuggling in the Mediterranean, the operation remains active. Côte d’Ivoire’s representative expressed concern about the scaling down of Operation Sophia’s naval assets, calling on participating countries to make equipment available.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Belgium, South Africa, Germany and Indonesia.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:22 a.m.
The embargo provides vital assistance to efforts to bring about a ceasefire
STEPHEN HICKEY (United Kingdom), the main sponsor of the text, expressed concern over reports of weapons entering Libya and reminded all Member States of their obligations under resolution 1970 (2011). He called on all parties to respect the arms embargo and desist from any actions that might hinder a United Nations-facilitated dialogue. Emphasizing that there is no military solution to Libya’s challenges, he called for an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian access and a return to talks, adding that a United Nations-led political dialogue is the only way to achieve the stability and security that Libyans deserve.
MARC PECSTEEN DE BUYTSWERVE (Belgium), voicing support for extending the embargo, denounced its systematic violation. Describing the embargo as indispensable, he said there is no military solution to the situation in Libya. Agreeing with the representative of the United Kingdom, he called for an immediate ceasefire and a return to dialogue under the aegis of the United Nations and expressed the hope that the Council will state its position as soon as possible.
ANNE GUEGUEN (France) said her country is extremely concerned about the situation in Libya, especially with regard to the ongoing fighting and the potential effects for countries in the region. She reiterated France’s call for an immediate ceasefire with no preconditions, with the parties committing to a dialogue facilitated by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. Respect for the arms embargo is more necessary than ever, she said, adding that, despite a temporary suspension, the European Union’s Operation Sophia remains active.
JERRY MATTHEWS MATJILA (South Africa) said it has been two months since the crisis in Libya started with none of the parties respecting the Council’s call for a ceasefire. Only through a national dialogue process can the conflict be resolved, he said, strongly urging Member States to fully implement the embargo measures. He reiterated that for his country, sanctions are a tool to advance a political process and must not affect humanitarian assistance.
KACOU HOUADJA LÉON ADOM (Côte d’Ivoire) welcomed the unanimous adoption of the resolution, which comes at a time when security and human rights conditions in Libya are deteriorating. The embargo provides vital assistance to efforts to bring about a ceasefire, which is a precondition for relaunching negotiations and the political process. Expressing concern about the scaling down of Operation Sophia’s naval assets, he called for participating countries to make equipment available to the military operation.
JUERGEN SCHULZ (Germany) noted important progress made through Operation Sophia. The arms embargo is more important than ever, he said, stressing that the supply of weapons fuels an erroneous conception that military force can solve the crisis. Expressing support for the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General, he stressed that it is time to redouble efforts towards a political settlement.
DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) called for efforts to restart political mediation as the situation can be solved only through a political process. Civilians in Tripoli must be protected. While expressing concern about the safety of United Nations personnel, he urged all parties to respect humanitarian law and human rights law. His delegation voted in favour of the text to show that the Council is unified in its efforts to silence the guns in Libya, expressed hope that today’s action will lead to a political process.