Johannesburg, South Africa – The Libyan Dialogue Forum started in Tunis on November 9th, 2020. It is organized by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), led by American diplomat Stephanie Williams. The Forum participants were tasked with reaching an agreement that would restore the unity of the country and schedule General elections. In addition, the Forum participants also needed to choose a new head of the Presidential Council and a Prime Minister who would lead the country until new elections.
But Participants of the UN-brokered Libyan Dialogue Forum failed to reach a full agreement in discussions over the future of Libya and potential resolutions to the country’s ongoing civil war. One of the reason is because the UN were trying to impose ready-made solutions on Libyans, instead of allowing them to decide their own fate.
Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Stephanie Williams told journalists in Tunis that the Libyan Dialogue Forum would be continuing debates in a week’s time. Despite no agreement being reached, Williams said the participants in the talks had “come together over significant issues in a very short period of time”.
It should be recalled that from the very beginning, Libyan and international experts had questions about the selection of forum participants. There were 75 participants, all of whom had been approved by UNSMIL. The principal requirement was that participants should not hold public office at the time of the event. As a result, out of 75 participants, 13 were delegated by the House of representatives, 13 by the High Council of State, and 49 were selected by UNSMIL itself as representatives of civil society.
In this regard, when the list of participants was announced, there were accusations that the participants had not significant influence in Libya itself and could not represent the interests of Libyans. Experts emphasize that the forum is deadlocked. In fact, these negotiations did not yield any results.
“This is also a form of obstruction of the dialogue, about the progress that is being made, because it undermines the trust and confidence in the process,” Williams said. “Those who are identified as obstructionists could be subject to international sanctions,” she added.
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