20. UNSMIL continues to advise the Prosecutor’s General Office on the implementation of an overall prosecutorial strategy, with a focus on cases of those with a high level of responsibility or those responsible for serious crimes. In that regard, on 1 January the General Prosecutor’s Office announced that it has made significant progress in its investigations against Saif Al-Islam Qadhafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi. Saif al-Islam Gadhafi appeared before the criminal court in Zintan on January 17th on charges of undermining state security and attempting to escape from prison. The hearing did not include, for the time being, any crimes related to the conflict. The trial of Mahmoud Al-Baghdadi, former Secretary of the General People’s Committee of the Prime Minister under Qadhafi, commenced on November 12th. The court adjourned until February 11th to allow the defence additional time to summon witnesses.
21. On December 17th, the United Kingdom government hosted an international meeting with the participation of Libyan officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Interior, Justice and the intelligence to discuss international assistance to Libya in its reform of the security sector and institution building in the justice sector. The Libyan government had the opportunity to present its priorities for international assistance in these areas. The meeting, attended by officials of Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Qatar, UK, the United Arab Emirates, the USA, Turkey as well as the European Union and the United Nations, endorsed these priorities, emphasized the importance of coordination, and identified specific international assistance needed to realize progress. A Ministerial conference will be held in Paris in February and UNSMIL will continue to assist the Libyan authorities in getting prepared for the conference and will be ready to assume its responsibilities in ensuring proper coordination in following up on the decisions of the Paris conference.
22. While the determination of the authorities and its many initiatives may augur greater capability of moving forward in institution building, it is worth insisting that many difficult decisions have, yet to be taken in the areas of constitution-making, transitional justice, reconciliation and, it goes without saying, security sector reform. In going forward, broad based support to these decisions is necessary. Equally necessary is consensus-seeking on national priorities in this critical phase of democratic state building. For this purpose, Libyan authorities, political forces, community and tribal leaders, revolutionaries and civil society organizations should engage in a process of national dialogue. UNSMIL is committed to assist in this endeavour.
Thank you Mr. President.