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A Political Framework Vital for Libya's Future

U.N. representative for Libya, Bernardino Leon, right, addresses reporters while Libyan parliaments members listen in Rabat, Morocco, Sept. 18, 2015.

Now it is time for Libyans to move forward and finalize the approval of the political framework text.

Four years after ridding itself of Moammar Gadhafi’s brutal regime, Libya is saddled with a divisive political struggle. In the eastern city of Tobruk resides the internationally-recognized House of Representatives. A second political body, the General National Congress, is based in the West and controls the capital, Tripoli.

A Political Framework Vital for Libya's Future
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The lack of a united, effective central authority has created a security vacuum that violent extremists and human smugglers have exploited.

If the two sides fail to come to terms and establish a Government of National Accord, the consequences for Libya and its people could be dire. That is why the United Nations appointed a Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Libya, Bernardino Leon, who was tasked with leading the Libyan political dialogue to develop a framework text agreement to create a unity government.

After months of tireless negotiations among courageous Libyans on all sides, Special Representative Leon presented the final framework text to create a Government of National Accord in late September and added on October 8 an Annex that names the six members of the Presidency Council that will lead the unity government. Now it is time for Libyans to move forward and finalize the approval of the political framework text.

As Secretary of State John Kerry said, “If individual militias or individual leaders keep fighting for something other than Libya’s interests, it will only help ISIL, and that is exactly what we are seeing happen. So it’s critical for people to come together and shut down the possibility of extremists filling a vacuum.”

The United States urges the House of Representatives and the General National Congress to immediately and conclusively endorse the final framework text and the senior Government of National Accord leaders.

As Secretary Kerry said, “We cannot afford any more delays. It’s imperative that all parties work to approve the final framework and fill the leadership positions for that government as soon as possible. And negotiation of the text is complete. The document is well balanced. It addresses the most basic aspirations of the Libyan people.”

We urge all Libyan leaders to come together to support the formation of the unity government – a government that will be representative, stable, and inclusive and that will define the future of their country.