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9 April 2015 – Libyan women have a crucial role to play in resolving the crisis in their country, a senior United Nations official said in an address to 250 Libyan women gathered in Tripoli, at a dialogue aimed at including women from all walks of life in the political process.
“We count on Libya women, who were active during the 17 February revolution, to continue to advocate for peaceful solution … We count on you to spread the culture of peace in your communities and to talk and engage with all who have a role to play in brining stability to Libya,” said Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, Bernardino León, via Skype on Saturday.
Mr. León briefed the audience about the progress of the ongoing political dialogue and answered questions regarding the ceasefire, timeframe for agreement and addressed concerns about spoilers seeking to derail the process.
He also stressed that efforts to bring peace to Libya must continue regardless of the obstacles, adding that quick solutions were necessary due to the humanitarian and economic difficulties the country is facing and the increasing terrorist attacks by Daesh also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Libyans, particularly women, have paid and continue to pay a high price in the North African country’s armed conflict, said Mr. León, adding that the role of women in pushing for the dialogue process is crucial, as it is also crucial in ensuring the implementation of any political agreement resulting from these talks. Women must get involved in talks at the municipality and tribal level.
“Women have a very important role in following up on the political process and in participating in the new unity government,” the Special Representative said, adding that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the importance of women’s participation in the transitional process.
The dialogue was facilitated by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in collaboration with various Libyan women groups. Mr. Leon acknowledged the role of the two women participants in the political dialogue, Ms. Nehad Meiteeg and Ms. Naima Jebril, for their efforts to reconcile the differences among the other participants.
More specifically, he commended their communication with and briefings to civil society and women’s groups at gatherings in Tunisia and Jordan in recent weeks in support of the dialogue were of tremendous importance.