It is indeed my conviction that our attachment to the Libyan Political Agreement as a reference should not prevent us from reaching out to all Libyans, whatever their status, past positions or present stands. Rather, we must reach out so that there is reconciliation for all.
In my external consultations, I sought to prioritise Libya's neighbors. This included Tunisia, where I also thanked the authorities for their support and hospitality to UNSMIL during the past three years.
In Egypt, I met with the officials in charge of the Libyan file, representatives of the League of Arab States, and some of the leading members of the Libyan community established there.
When in Algeria, Prime Minister Ouyahya and Foreign Minister Messahel reiterated their support to our action.
I also visited Italy where Prime Minister Gentiloni and his ministers expressed their commitment to the success of our efforts.
All these countries will benefit from a stable, peaceful and reconciled Libya, as will many more.
I look forward to travelling next week to Congo Brazzaville where the African Union High Level Committee on Libya is convening key Libyan actors.
It is my intention to extend the scope of my visits in the coming weeks and months, to other neighbors, countries in the region, and beyond.
From my meetings with Libyans, a clear picture is emerging. People are frustrated with their deteriorating living conditions. I passed the same bank in Tripoli repeatedly from ten o’clock in the morning until ten o’clock at night and saw so many people I thought it was a demonstration. No! They were just waiting to access a fraction of their month’s salary - the equivalent of what’s now worth $25.
It is unnatural that in this wealthy country, university departments are closing one after the other because the outrageous gap in the exchange rate has led foreign faculty to quit en mass.
People are tired of the endless cuts in electricity and water, which in turn take down the telephone system and the internet. Libyans cannot understand being poor in a country rich with natural resources. An oil producing country where they must queue for sometimes a day to get 20 litres of petrol.
The impression of a now well-rooted political economy of predation is palpable, as if the country is fuelling its own crisis with its own resources to the benefit of the few and the frustration of the many.
There is clearly here a serious problem of governance that can hardly wait to be addressed.
The people’s welfare is, obviously, a fundamental element in Libya’s future stability. I intend to work closely with our partners to ensure that we are fully coordinating in realising a macroeconomic vision for the country while helping the authorities provide basic services.
Unless the economic challenges are addressed, and soon, the humanitarian crisis in Libya will deepen.