Delivered by Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative Mohamed Abushahab
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At the outset, I would like to welcome the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Karim Khan. We take note of his informative briefing. I also welcome the participation of Ambassador Taher El-Sonni, Permanent Representative of Libya, in our meeting.
The situation in Libya is still uncertain due to power competition, mobilization of militias, and the lack of clarity surrounding the political path. Yet, we are optimistic that the Libyan people will get through this critical time. In this regard, the UAE reiterates that there is no alternative to a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political dialogue, which is the only way to end the Libyan crisis. We welcome all Libyan efforts aimed at achieving these goals, and we renew our call to avoid tensions and disputes. We also commend the good offices of the United Nations and its initiative to help resolve the Libyan crisis as well as Egypt’s facilitation of dialogue on a constitutional basis between both parties.
To avoid escalation and further division in Libya, it is important that the 5+5 Joint Military Commission maintains its impartiality and distances itself from the current political tensions. We also stress the importance of maintaining the permanent ceasefire agreement, including the phased, gradual, and balanced withdrawal of foreign forces and fighters as well as mercenaries from Libya. As the Prosecutor has previously explained, efforts to implement the Commission’s Action Plan for the withdrawal of these forces would promote greater stability in Libya and help prevent of atrocity crimes.
The UAE would like to reiterate the primary responsibility of member states to implement international law, including international humanitarian law, and to prevent and stop atrocity crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. For suchserious crimes, accountability, fighting against impunity, and seeking justice for the victims must be carried out in accordance with the fundamental principles of international law, including respect for the sovereignty and independence of states. We would also like to emphasize that compliance with the principle of complementarity under the Rome Statute of the ICC requires respect for the positions of the concerned state.
Achieving justice, which is a national sovereign prerogative, requires establishing lasting peace in the Libyan territory through supporting national efforts and building the capacities of Libyan institutions. It also requires that Libyan, UN, and all other international initiatives and efforts aimed at facilitating a national reconciliation process to achieve long-term stability be supported by the international community. In this regard, we welcome the current engagement and meetings between the International Criminal Court and the relevant authorities in Libya. We also welcome the existing cooperation between Libya and the Court based on the memorandum of understanding signed between the Office of the Libyan Public Prosecutor and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, in accordance with the Court’s jurisdiction.
In conclusion, the UAE affirms its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity of the State of Libya. We hope that concerted efforts are made towards ending existing divisions, and preventing any measures that would undermine the progress made during the previous period. Thank you, Madam President.