International Ministerial Conference on Support to Libya in the Areas of Security, Justice and Rule of Law - Communiqué (Paris, 12 February 2013)
1. The Government of the State of Libya and international partners met today in Paris to renew their commitment to the Libyan people and their aspirations to build a modern democratic and accountable state solidly anchored in a rule of law system, institutions and practices, and in respect for human rights. Today’s International Ministerial Conference marks a new phase in the relationship between Libya and its partners, in which Conference participants – including Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Qatar, Spain, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the African Union, the Arab Maghreb Union, the European Union, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the League of Arab States, and the United Nations – reaffirmed their unequivocal support for the Libyan Government in its determination to build, on the basis of the two attached Plans, namely the National Security Development Plan, and the Justice and Rule of Law Development Plan, a secure, prosperous and democratic nation, and overcome existing challenges in the areas of national security, rule of law and justice.
2. In reaffirming their support to the Libyan people, international partners reiterated the need for a measured and coordinated engagement that is consistent with the principles of Libyan leadership and national ownership, and is in accordance with the Libyan Government’s stated needs and priorities. Conference participants also reaffirmed support for relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions upholding the sovereignty, security, stability and prosperity of Libya, and the role of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), particularly in coordinating and facilitating international assistance to the Libyan Government. Conference participants also recognised the European Union as a long-term key strategic partner for Libya, in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean area of cooperation and dialogue.
3. Conference participants acknowledged the significant achievements of the Libyan people and the Libyan authorities following the Declaration of Liberation in October 2011. The General National Congress elections on 7 July 2012 and the swearing-in on 14 November of the country’s first democratically constituted government marked major milestones in Libya’s democratic transition. While recognizing the heavy legacy bequeathed to the Libyan people following decades of autocratic rule – weak state institutions, rampant corruption, limited economic opportunities, and a debilitated security sector –Conference participants expressed the hope that recent progress in the political landscape could provide an opportunity for the Libyan Government to press ahead with the task of State and institution-building that would enable Libya to reclaim its rightful place in the community of nations.
4. Conference participants agreed, however, on the need for immediate, visible and tangible action, by Libya and its partners, on the priority challenges in the areas of national security and justice, which have the potential to undermine Libya’s recent steps toward a successful democratic transition and prosperous future. These challenges are the security situation in the country, security and management of Libya’s borders; the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former revolutionary fighters and issues related to arms; and ammunition management. The Libyan Government highlighted its recent efforts to address these challenges, and stressed its intention to take appropriate additional steps in coordination with the international partners.
5. Much now rests on Libya’s leadership to carry the political process forward, to ensure a successful transition beyond the revolutionary phase, and to take concrete steps in the process of rebuilding their country. In this regard, Conference participants welcomed the determination of the Libyan Government to move quickly in addressing the precarious national security situation, including the aforementioned priority challenges and again reiterated their solidarity and full support. Conference participants expressed their firm belief that progress on these issues will put Libya on the path to recovery and to building a modern, democratic and accountable state, based on rule of the law and respect for human rights.
6. The International Ministerial Conference on Support to Libya builds on the Senior Officials meeting held in London on 17 December, at which the Libyan Government had outlined a comprehensive plan of action in the priority areas of security sector, justice and rule of law. The Libyan Government today presented its international partners with its priorities for the development and reform of the security, rule of law and justice sectors. Libya’s international partners have stressed the significance of these priorities and pledged additional assistance in support of Libyan efforts in these sectors.
7. In giving effect to these priorities outlined by the Libyan Government and its vision to deliver concrete benefits to the Libyan people and further Libya’s democratic transition and the rebuilding of a modern state, the international partners committed themselves to realign their assistance in order to advance those priorities. In doing so, international partners reminded the Libyan Government of the need to adopt the policy decisions and put in place the mechanisms necessary for allowing the support of the international partners, in order to translate its priorities into tangible achievements. In pursuing these objectives, Conference participants recognised the need for the Libyan Government to continue to consult with the Libyan people, through their representative bodies, civil society and other mechanisms.
8. Mindful of the relevant Security Council resolutions pertaining to the role of the United Nations in coordinating international assistance to Libya, Conference participants agreed that further work would be needed to refine and operationalize the outcomes of today’s International Ministerial Conference on Support to Libya. They agreed that this should take place within a group of Libya’s Core Security Partners, which will meet periodically in Tripoli with Libyan officials in order to measure progress and review overall security sector efforts.
9. The Libyan Government has identified six priority areas in the security sector, including: i) national security coordination and architecture; ii) disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR); iii) arms and ammunition control; iv) border security and management; v) defence reform and development; and vi) police reform and development.
10. Conference participants discussed the Libyan Government’s security priorities, as discussed above. Libya’s international partners expressed their political, technical and materiel support for the Libyan Government’s efforts to address these challenges through both security sector reform and security operation-related solutions.
11. Conference participants highlighted the urgent priority for Libya to effectively control its borders. Libya’s international partners emphasized their readiness to assist the Libyan Government to quickly enhance its border security and encouraged the Libyan Government to urgently develop and deliver an integrated border management plan. Conference participants welcomed the European Union decision to launch a civilian Common Security and Defence Policy mission on border management, to be deployed by June 2013.
12. With regard to reform and development related assistance, international partners voiced their wholehearted support of Libya’s efforts to address the security challenges facing the country, and develop and deploy the effective and accountable defence and police structures in order to restore peace and stability across the country.
13. Conference participants also recognised that Libya has inherited stocks of weapons and explosive devices, of which a large arsenal remains outside the control of the Libyan Government and which poses a direct threat to the security of Libya and that of the wider region. Libya’s international partners reiterated their commitment to support Libya in addressing, as a matter of urgency, issues related to arms and ammunition management.
14. Conference participants also welcomed the actions and commitment to date of the Libyan Government, with neighbouring countries, to tackle the significant security challenges faced by Libya in areas along its borders. In line with the Tripoli Action Plan on operational coordination in the field of border security which was adopted by the Ministerial Regional Conference held in Tripoli between 11-12 March 2012, the international partners undertook to provide support to the Libyan Government and its neighbours in the region in order to overcome these threats.
15. Conference participants emphasized the importance of enhancing stabilization during the transition period, through the implementation of programmes for revolutionary fighters. The Libyan Government undertook to implement a nationally coordinated approach to integrate revolutionary fighters into security forces or support their reintegration into civilian life.
16. To enhance the rule of law and justice sector, the Libyan Government has identified its main priorities. These include: i) building judicial capacity, competence, independence, coordination and training; ii) undertaking a review of relevant legislation; iii) building prosecutorial and criminal investigative capacity; iv) reforming the Libyan prison system; vi) strengthening the coordination between the military and civilian justice systems; vii) promoting transitional justice through truth-seeking processes and national reconciliation, in addition to locating and identifying missing persons; and viii) building state institutions that respect and promote human rights, as well as a vibrant civil society.
17. Conference participants recognised the need to ensure that the justice system in Libya is fully functioning in line with international standards. They underlined the urgent need for the adoption of effective legislation, such as the draft Transitional Justice Law, and the implementation of the required procedures to further the reconciliation process. The international participants welcomed the Libyan Government’s commitment to tackle all human rights violations that occurred under the former regime as well during and after the armed conflict.
18. Conference participants welcomed the commitment made by the Government of Libya and the steps it has since taken to bring all detention centres under government control and to ensure access to justice for the large number of detainees held. The international support aims at enhancing the implementation of international human rights and rule of law standards, especially in relation to treatment in detention, legality of detention, and the rights of accused persons to expeditious and fair trials.
19. At the end of its deliberations, the International Ministerial Conference adopted the two attached Plans, namely the National Security Development Plan, and the Justice and Rule of Law Development Plan for implementation by the competent authorities of the Libyan Government, and with the assistance and full support of the international partners representing governments, international and regional organizations.
20. The Conference participants welcomed the Italian offer to convene the next ministerial meeting in due time with Libya and in coordination with all relevant international actors.