Today at the Farnesina, the Foreign Minister will meet with the United Nations Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, on his first mission to Europe since he took office.
It is an important visit because it offers Mr Salamé the opportunity of reporting on the outcome of the meetings he had in Tripoli and Tobruk, and me the chance to illustrate Italy’s Agenda for Libya, containing a list of ten pivotal points, for each of which targeted actions have already been expedited:
- promoting the reduction of negotiating formats to one. There have been too many negotiations and too many negotiators up to now. Now there is the new UN Special Representative. Every Country should rely on his action, turning over to him all the work done up to now;
- giving impulse to an inclusive dialogue between the Libyan players: I immediately clarified the need to preserve Libya’s unity and to assign a role to General Haftar;
- supporting the legitimate government led by Al-Sarraj, which is recognised by the UN, also through the decision to reopen our Embassy in Tripoli;
- sensitising the other Countries engaged in the stabilisation process;
- combating migration flows with the support of Libyan institutions;
- promoting an EU action aimed at contributing to stop human trafficking;
- involving the Libya’s bordering Countries in bolstering controls at the southern border of Libya;
- helping the international organisations involved in developing strategies to combat migration flows;
- supporting Libya’s economy;
- assuring humanitarian aid to the Libyan population.
It is time for the United Nations to show its strategic role on the international scenario, by building on Italy’s experience in Libya in order to avoid extemporaneous and uncoordinated initiatives.
We need a multi-layered action: to facilitate the broadest possible dialogue among the players in the Libyan region in order to develop a common peaceful roadmap, and to reaffirm the need to avoid conflict-inducing rationales to bordering Countries and, more generally, to all the Countries in the region.
Italy has always proposed actions to be taken at multilateral level and today calls on the UN agencies, such as the UNHCR and the OIM, to make an essential contribution in tackling the migration phenomenon, which is the main impediment to stabilising Libya.
In this perspective, the Italian naval mission, launched at the request of President Al-Sarraj and of the Presidential Council-Government of National Accord, is aimed at supporting the Libyan Coastguard in more effectively fighting human traffickers and illegal immigration.
The matter-of-fact situation in the Country is indisputable: illegal trafficking can unfortunately reveal to be a wicked source of income and weaken Libya’s fragile institutions. Although it is dutiful to highlight that many NGOs are doing a good job in saving human lives, it is fair to recall Prosecutor Zuccaro’s intuition on the assumption that the operations of some NGOs may be borderline, as confirmed by the recent investigations conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office of Trapani. Up to now, no one has apologised to Prosecutor Zuccaro for the accusations made against him a few weeks ago.
Moreover, we will always continue to insist on the crucial importance of relaunching Libya’s economic system for a «dividend for peace», in terms of security, legality and wellbeing.
To this effect, we organised the first Italy-Libya Economic Forum in Agrigento on 7-8 July, thus encouraging further steps forward in coordinating Libyan and Italian government and economic institutions. We also gave a decisive impulse to Cooperation aid – to relieve the suffering of civilians – and to finance humanitarian and emergency interventions and development projects in the South of the Country.
In order to close the tap of illegal trafficking, we have launched a close cooperation with the Countries bordering with Libya – for example, Niger, Chad and Sudan – through the Africa Fund – by allocating 200 million euros – and we organised a meeting here in Rome, on 6 July, with the ministers of European members and African Countries of transit to lay the grounds for a new multilateral cooperation effort capable of giving important immediate and tangible results on controlling the southern borders of Libya.
None of these actions on its own will solve the Libyan problem, which has been dragging on since 2011. All these actions, taken together, form an agenda and configure Italy’s leadership in this dossier. The aim of this leadership is not to satisfy our national vanity but to assure peace and security in the Mediterranean and in Libya.