Switzerland takes part in the second international Berlin Conference on Libya


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Press release, 23.06.2021

On 23 June 2021, the members of the Berlin group convened for the second international Berlin Conference on Libya, hosted by Germany and the United Nations. As a participating member, Switzerland was represented at the conference by Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis. In promoting peace and acting as a host state, Switzerland supports a political solution in Libya.

Within the framework of the Berlin process, Switzerland is committed to creating conditions conducive to the establishment of lasting peace in Libya. As co-chair of the working group on international humanitarian law and human rights, Switzerland draws on its tradition of good offices and its experience in peace processes.

Mr Cassis recalled the progress achieved in recent months, namely the signing of a ceasefire agreement on 23 October in Geneva and the formation of a government of national unity – the first since 2014. Mr Cassis also underscored the importance of pressing ahead with the political transition process, in particular through the elections set to be held in December 2021. "Switzerland renews its engagement and its readiness to provide support and expertise to the Libyan people in shaping the future of their country", he added.

Facilitating the holding of elections and promoting adherence to the ceasefire
A key focus of the conference was how to support the Libyan government in holding free elections in December, in accordance with the political process roadmap approved by Libyan actors on 16 November 2020. All involved parties believe this prospect to be the best way to move the country towards a democratic transition and long-term stability.

Switzerland: a recognised host state
Recent developments show that the situation in Libya remains highly volatile. The conflict that broke out in 2011 triggered considerable migration crises. This is why Switzerland is fully committed to stabilising the country in the long term. Since February 2020, Switzerland has played host to seven meetings within the framework of the three tracks of the UN peace process (political, military and economic). Two events of great significance for Libya took place in this context: the signing of the ceasefire agreement between the two parties to the conflict on 23 October 2020 in Geneva; and the appointment of a new transitional executive authority on 5 February 2021 in the canton of Vaud.

Switzerland's engagement in Libya is set out in the Federal Council's Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23 and in its Middle East and North Africa Strategy 2021–24. This work involves contributing to conflict resolution and strengthening human rights. Peaceful conflict resolution also addresses the root causes of forced displacement, such as armed conflict and human rights violations, and thus contributes to reducing irregular migration.


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Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs