I would like to thank Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily for his presentation. I would also like to thank the Chair of the Sanctions Committee for his presentation. Ms. Abeir Imneina's words remind us of the importance of the Women, peace and security agenda, and we thank her.
Before elaborating on three points, allow me to refer to the tragic shipwreck in the Mediterranean after an overloaded boat capsized and sank off the coast of Greece on its way from Libya. Thousands of migrants die and disappear every year in the Mediterranean. We are saddened by the news of this shipwreck, and I express my deepest condolences to the victims and their families.
Firstly, Switzerland takes note of the work carried out by the 6+6 Committee in Buznika to reach agreement on draft electoral laws. While these represent an essential step in the political process, electoral laws alone will not pave the way for elections. An inclusive pre-electoral agreement is needed to guarantee a conducive environment for these elections and acceptance of their results. In this agreement, Libyan stakeholders will have to present firm commitments to guarantee the security of the electoral process, respect for freedom of expression and association, and the full participation of civil society. The agreement must also contain clear milestones and precise deadlines. This process can only be carried out under the auspices of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and through the personal commitment of Special Representative to whom Switzerland reiterates its full support. Switzerland therefore urges all Libyan players to engage constructively, sincerely and substantively, with the mediation that the Special Representative will be undertaking from now on to outline the contours of this pre-electoral pact.
Secondly, Switzerland encourages the international community to support the Special Representative in a united and coherent manner. We are ready for such support, particularly at the various levels of the Berlin Process. On May 22, Switzerland and the other co-chairs convened a plenary meeting of the Working Group on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Tripoli. This session ended with the signing of a Declaration of Intent between the Presidential Council and the co-chairs of the working group aimed at ensuring the centrality of human rights at all stages of the political and reconciliation process, as well as establishing a permanent and inclusive dialogue to improve the human rights situation in Libya.
Thirdly, Switzerland notes with concern that a populist discourse is gradually being invoked by security agencies and other actors to justify excessive control that restricts fundamental rights. In this context, we are concerned by the recent introduction of a new procedure at Mitiga airport that restricts women's freedom of movement.
Furthermore, we regret that bureaucratic restrictions continue to criminalize the work of Libyan and international civil society organizations. Any legislation on these organizations must comply with Libya's national and international obligations, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Libya has signed up to. In particular, the Covenant protects the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, as well as the work of civil society organizations and human rights defenders. The former law no. 19 of 2001 does not meet these standards, which are binding in Libya.
With regard to the security situation, we have followed with concern reports of the use of force, including in populated areas, as recently in Zawiyah. We call on all actors to take the necessary measures to guarantee the protection of the civilian population. This also includes internally displaced persons. In this respect, Switzerland urges the Libyan government to continue to find sustainable solutions for the latter, in order to meet their needs such as improving access to basic services and reconstruction efforts.
Switzerland is convinced that there can be no lasting solution - in Libya and elsewhere - without addressing the human rights of every individual, especially those who are vulnerable. This is why we are ready to continue our commitment and cooperation in this area.
I thank you.