I would like to thank Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily and Deputy Permanent Representative Yamanaka for their presentations.
Before elaborating on three points, allow me to refer to the tragic shipwreck off the coast of Libya last Saturday. 61 migrants drowned. Thousands of people die and disappear every year in the Mediterranean. We are saddened by the news of this shipwreck and express our very sincere condolences to the victims and their families.
Against this backdrop, the protection and promotion of human rights remains a priority. Last week we marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We echo the warnings of High Commissioner Volker Türk, who issued "a wake-up call that when human rights are not respected, instability, suffering, greater inequality and economic crises follow". But seventy-five years later, there is still a long way to go.
This wake-up call also applies to Libya. By redoubling its efforts to guarantee respect for human rights, Libya can catalyse its democratic transformation, and lay the foundations for a secure environment conducive to elections. Yet we are witnessing the repression of human rights defenders and a narrowing civic space, for example through arbitrary detentions. The voices of journalists, academics and members of civil society are being silenced, threatening the right to freedom of expression. To this end, Switzerland - as co-chair of the Working Group on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights - co-organised a meeting of the four groups that emerged from the Berlin Process. This meeting identified synergies for the implementation of human rights in the political, economic and security fields. We will maintain our commitment in this respect.
My second message concerns the elections: after a two-year delay, it's high time they were held, and in an inclusive manner. Inclusive means with women. It is essential that women be able to vote and stand as candidates, free from threats or reprisals. Inclusive also means with the youth. Their participation in this electoral process is vital for the future of the country.
To advance the Libyan people's aspiration for elections, compromise and collaboration are essential. This is why Switzerland supports the Special Representative's efforts to bring together key players. We call on these players to accept the Special Representative's invitation to a preparatory meeting.
My final point concerns sanctions. I would like to stress the need to fully implement Resolution 2664, for which an Implementation Assistance Notice has been adopted by the Sanctions Committee. The exemption created by the resolution authorises activities necessary for the delivery of humanitarian aid or in support of other activities to meet the basic needs of populations by humanitarian organisations. This exemption provides the various actors involved with the necessary clarity and predictability. Switzerland will continue to work for the consistent implementation of Resolution 2664.
To return to the words of the High Commissioner: Human rights must not remain words on the fringes of our declarations, but they must be at the centre of our governance. This is what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has aimed at for 75 years. This is Switzerland's commitment, and we expect the same commitment from the international community for Libya, including Libya itself.