Distinguished Co‐Chairs of the Contact Group on Libya
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like, from the outset, to carry out a pleasant duty of thanking Minister Francesco
Frattini for having kindly invited the African Union to this meeting of the Contact Group on
Libya. A few weeks ago, I was here, in Rome, at the invitation of Minister Frattini, for
consultations on Libya that enabled us exchange views on the situation in this country and on
our respective efforts. In general, Italy and the AU have forged a close partnership in the field of
peace and security whose relevance is highlighted by the current circumstances in Libya, as well
as by the support that Italy gives to our efforts in Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere on the
continent. I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Italian Government.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our presence in Rome, as an invited guest at the meeting of the Contact Group, is
further testimony to the commitment of the African Union to interact and hold dialogue with
its partners to speed up the resolution of the Libyan crisis. At its last meeting on the situation in
Libya, on 26 April, our Peace and Security Council (PSC) reiterated the need for more
coordinated international action and a common vision of what the international community can
and must undertake to support the quest for peace in Libya and to fulfill the legitimate
aspirations of the Libyan people. I hope that this meeting of the Contact Group will contribute
to the attainment of this objective.

Since your last meeting in Doha, the situation in Libya has continued to deteriorate,
marked by continued fighting and other military operations, the deterioration of the
humanitarian situation, which is tragically illustrated by the plight of the people living in the
town of Misrata, and the absence of any dialogue between the parties to find a comprehensive
solution to the various aspects of the crisis.

The African Union is particularly concerned about this turn of events. Our concern is
greater, more especially as the Libyan crisis has obvious regional dimensions, and that Libya’s
neighbours are the ones that pay the heaviest price for the continuation and worsening of the
current conflict. Tens of thousands of African migrant workers have returned to their countries
of origin with no real prospect of socio‐economic reintegration, given the constraints of all
kinds which our countries are facing. And it is obvious that the burden thus imposed on many of
our Member States will inevitably generate social tensions that could degenerate into political
crisis. The reports on the proliferation of weapons from Libyan armoury can only heighten our
concern, especially as some countries in the region are faced with latent rebellions or emerging
from conflict, not to mention the scourge of terrorism.

We are convinced that, in the final analysis, only a political solution will fulfill the
legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people and promote lasting peace in that country. It is this
belief that informs our approach since 10 March 2011, when the PSC worked out a roadmap for
resolving the Libyan crisis.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The AU Ad hoc Committee on the Situation in Libya met at ministerial level in Addis
Ababa, on 25 April 2011. On that occasion, the Committee met with representatives of both
parties. The Libyan Government reiterated its unconditional acceptance of the AU Roadmap,
while the National Transitional Council pledged to study the document thoroughly. It is
expected that both sides will shortly submit their comments and proposals on the various
elements of the Roadmap.

On its part, the PSC, meeting on the next day at ministerial level, having renewed its
confidence in the Ad Hoc Committee, asked the said Committee and the Commission to
expeditiously finalize appropriate consultations with the Libyan parties and the multilateral and
bilateral partners, with a view to opening the way for the speedy holding, at a venue agreeable
to the parties and under the auspices of the AU, the League of Arab States, the Organization of
Islamic Conference, the European Union and the UN, of negotiations on a ceasefire and other
aspects of Libyan crisis.

Since then, we have held a number of consultations with our partners to make it
possible to convene, as early as possible, negotiations between the Libyan parties. We are
hopeful that they will extend the necessary cooperation to enable us move quickly to the
political phase, the only one that could guarantee a lasting solution to the crisis.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to appeal to all members of the Contact Group to lend their full support to
the efforts of the AU and its High‐level Committee, whose role is formally recognised by the
Security Council in its Resolution 1973 ( 2011). It is imperative to open a political prospect in
Libya, as it is true that nowhere force alone has made it possible to achieve lasting results.

The role of the international community is to help the Libyan people overcome this
sensitive phase of its history, and its involvement must be laid on clear bases, namely:

(i) the need to duly take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people to
democracy, political reform and good governance, and the fact that only Libyans
should determine the future of their country;

(ii) respect for international legality, which requires, under the circumstances, that all
act within the limits of the provisions of Resolutions 1970 and 1973 (2011). In this
regard, our PSC expressed concerns that must be taken into account if we want to
promote and consolidate an international consensus on the way forward and
strengthen global governance based on effective multilateralism; and

(iii)the persevering and sustained search for a political solution to the present crisis,
which demands that the international community fully mobilize itself to facilitate the
speedy conclusion of a ceasefire, as required by the Security Council in its Resolution
1973 (2011), being clearly understood that the ceasefire is only one the elements,
certainly an important one, of the overall solution that we must promote, and that it
must be accompanied by the establishment of an international verification and
monitoring mechanism which is effective and credible.

The AU has no other agenda in Libya than to facilitate the resolution of the crisis and a
democratic transition in that country. We are all the more determined in our endeavor as the
AU Constitutive Act and a number of other relevant instruments of our Union are very clear as
regards the collective commitment of Africa to promote peace, as well as democracy and the
rule of law. The AU Roadmap offers a viable basis for launching a political process led and
owned by the Libyans, so that the democratization of their country is the result of their action
and the consensus they would have reached. As experience has taught us on several occasions,
this is critical for sustaining any democratic gain.

I thank you.