15 – 21 January 2020: Germany holds an international conference on Libya in Berlin

Jan 22, 2020 | International actors

On 19 January, Germany held an international conference on Libya in Berlin including multiple state leaders and high-level delegates from Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey, the Republic of the Congo, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and High Representatives of the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, and the League of Arab States. The Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar were also in Berlin but did not meet one another nor attend the international leaders’ meeting.

The conference concluded with unanimous agreement on a final 55-point communiqué including a number of broad, aspirational commitments such as the continuation of the Berlin “process” in order to find a political solution to Libya’s crisis, the implementation of the UN arms embargo, security sector reform, economic and financial reform and respect for international law and human rights.

In terms of specific mechanisms and follow up, the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) will oversee an International Follow-up Committee (IFC) composed of delegates of the conference attendees, including Senior Official-Level monthly meetings and four technical working groups. The first of these is due to be held in mid-February. The communiqué called for the UN Security Council (UNSC) to create an international committee to monitor the ceasefire and to impose sanctions on violations of the ceasefire.

In a statement to the press after the conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated: “We know that we have not solved all of Libya’s problems today, but we were aiming for fresh momentum.” Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio labelled the conference a “point of departure” in the international community’s attempts to undertake a ceasefire and re-impose the arms embargo on Libya. Various statements from Italy, Germany, the UK and the EU indicated that these countries would be willing to deploy personnel and possibly peace keeping forces under a UN mandate to help support a ceasefire.