Mr Cassis, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), opened the conference, which was held virtually due to the pandemic. He urged all the parties involved to help bring about a political solution to the conflict in Libya, stating that "The holding of free and fair elections in December this year will be the next crucial step. Only a government democratically elected by the Libyan people will enable real reforms and a sustainable reunification of institutions."
The conference, which was co-chaired this month by Switzerland and moderated by Simon Geissbühler, head of the FDFA's Peace and Human Rights Division, gave participants the opportunity to share and coordinate the progress that has been made by the four working groups which make up the international committee to monitor Libya’s ceasefire. Another goal was to prepare for the Berlin II ministerial conference to be held on 23 June 2021.
The Berlin process was launched in January 2020 with the aim of achieving a permanent ceasefire in Libya. Its objective is to ensure international coherence in creating the conditions necessary for intra-Libyan dialogue on peace.
Swiss engagement for Libya since 2011
Peacebuilding is a strategic priority for Switzerland, which has co-chaired the working group on international humanitarian law and human rights (IHL-HR) together with the Netherlands since 2020. Switzerland's commitment to peace, security and human rights is anchored in the Federal Council's Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–2023.
In the MENA Strategy 2021–2024, which was adopted by the Federal Council in October 2020, Swiss engagement in the peace and stabilisation process in Libya has been identified as a clear priority. Switzerland has been active in Libya since 2011 through its peacebuilding, humanitarian aid and migration-related projects. At multilateral level, it also supported the creation of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya, which was set up in June 2020 by the Human Rights Council. Furthermore, Switzerland plays host to the intra-Libyan peace talks under the auspices of the UN.
Press release – Libyan peace process: Switzerland welcomes appointment of new unified transitional authority (5.2.2021)
Press release – Berlin process on Libya: Switzerland to co-chair working group on international humanitarian law and human rights (23.6.2020)
Address for enquiries:
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Communication service: +41 58 462 31 53
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55