A United Nations delegation, led by the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Libya, traveled to Sebha Monday to meet with southern government officials, tribal notables, academics, community-based organizations, women and youth.
The trip builds on SRSG Abdoulaye Bathily’s efforts, in his first month in Libya, to listen to people from across the country about how the UN can best support a Libyan-led solution to the political stalemate.
The SRSG, who is also the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), visited Benghazi and Sirte in October.
“The stability and security of the south is vital for the stability and security of the whole country,” SRSG Bathily said.
“I was keen to come to Sebha as early as possible because I recognize the south’s importance and unique challenges.”
The focal point of the SRSG’s programme was a townhall meeting, during which he discussed with southerners the path toward elections, sustainable stability, territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Libya.
Participants demanded respect for human rights and the release of political detainees and stressed the importance of the transparent management of public resources during the country’s reconstruction.
Ms. Georgette Gagnon, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, joined the mission with the heads of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in Libya.
The DSRSG/RC/HC and the UN Agency heads met with municipal officials and civil society organizations to discuss how the UN can further support local peacebuilding efforts, enhance social cohesion and create sustainable livelihoods in the south, especially for women and youth.
The UN in Libya, working with 23 partners including nongovernmental and community-based organizations, provided humanitarian assistance to 124,000 of the most vulnerable people in the south in 2022.
UN Agencies are also working with municipalities and civil society organizations to support education, health services, food security, child protection, women’s empowerment, local governance, migration management, human rights and reconstruction.
“The UN reinforces its commitment to supporting people in the South,” DSRSG/RC/HC Gagnon said.
“We are increasing our work with local authorities and communities to tackle humanitarian, human rights and development challenges in the region focused on community stabilization and economic resilience.”