A multimedia exhibit showing Libya’s transition on the long road to democracy after a violent conflict opened at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday 29 January 2013.
The exhibit, "Libya in Transition: Helping to Build a New Democratic Libya", documents through photographs, videos and text panels the challenges and accomplishments as Libya strives to become a democracy in the aftermath of the Gaddafi regime’s legacy of repression and the fighting that led to its overthrow.
The Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, introduced the exhibit, which was opened by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Tarek Mitri, and Ibrahim Dabbashi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations.
In remarks at the opening, SRSG Mitri expressed admiration of Libya’s vibrant civil society and stressed that in addition to UNSMIL’s efforts to assist the Libyan authorities, the UN must listen to civil society’s views.
“It is amazing how lively the debates on Social Media and in various non-governmental organizations are,” he said.
The SRSG added: “We have to be receptive, attentive in listening when it comes to the lively debates taking place in civil society. It is our moral obligation and political commitment to be receptive to the people's aspirations, not only to the requests of the government which are high on our priority scale.”
Mr. Dabbashi, the Libyan Deputy Permanent Representative, praised UNSMIL’s work in a challenging environment.
“UNSMIL are doing a tremendous and excellent job and we are as a Libyan people grateful for every one of the staff of UNSMIL in Libya,” he said.
Mr. Dabbashi added: “We know they are working in difficult conditions … There are lots of challenges, difficulties, problems but I think that UNSMIL is credited for the confidence that was built between it and the Libyan authorities.”
Produced by UNSMIL, the exhibit features the work of UNSMIL photographer Iason Athanasiadis, and includes contributions from United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), courtesy of photographer Giovanni Diffidenti. Its opening was co-hosted by the Departments of Political Affairs (DPA) and Public Information (DPI).