Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Bernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
Question 137: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which he can influence and encourage positive stability measures in Libya; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9989/12]
Eamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
One year after the Libyan uprising began, it is clear that the Libyan people supported by the international community are making progress towards establishing a democratic Libya, but that major challenges remain. I welcome the fact that, in an important step in Libya’s democratic transition, Libyan officials on 8 February finalised the new electoral laws for the National Assembly elections which are due to take place by June. Once elected, the National Assembly will then draw up a new constitution.
At the same time, I am seriously concerned at reports that the armed militias in Libya are committing widespread human rights abuses with impunity, as documented in Amnesty International’s report of 16 February. There is no doubt that such actions, if left unchallenged by the rule of law, will continue to fuel insecurity and hinder the rebuilding of state institutions.
The international community, including Ireland and its EU partners, are determined to continue supporting Libya in its journey towards democratisation. The High-level Meeting on Libya in New York on 20 September 2011 en marge of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly, which I attended, made clear the international community’s political support for the National Transitional Council as the interim authorities in Libya as well as providing for formal acceptance into the United Nations of the new Libya. The United Nations Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) is leading the international community’s practical assistance during the transition period to Libyan national efforts in a range of areas, including the restoration of public security and order, the promotion of rule of law, the restoration of public services and support for human rights.
Ireland, the EU and others in the international community will continue to seek ways to assist Libya in its nascent democratic transition, which it is hoped will foster a period of economic growth and stability for the Libyan people.