ESCWA proposes a unifying vision for Libya to avert relapse into conflict
Beirut, 2 October 2021-- As part of efforts to promote sustainable peace in Libya and prevent the country’s relapse into conflict, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) launched a “Vision for Libya: towards prosperity, justice and strong State institutions”, the widest in scope and most elaborate to date in its approach of the economic, social and institutional policies required to chart a path for the future.
The vision adopts a rights-based approach to preserve a unified Libya. One that upholds cultural diversity and realizes balanced decentralization. The vision seeks to capitalize on the Libyan human wealth to rebuild institutions that can steer the development process, and on natural wealth to achieve sustainable growth and citizens’ well-being.
The vison highlights the complementary relationship between civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights on the one hand, and the development process on the other, particularly in the State rebuilding phase. It outlines a new social contract that balances between the rights and obligations of individuals, and the powers and responsibilities of the State, and rests on the following pillars: justice, citizenship and a harmonious national identity; social protection and justice; an alternative diversified economic model; and institutional reform, transparency and good governance.
“The vision reflects a broad consensus among the different components of Libyan society and their aspirations. It comes at a critical juncture for the future of Libya, consolidating what has been achieved so far on the political track,” affirmed ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti.
"The vision proposes the most comprehensive and elaborate policy options for decision makers in Libya, to ensure that the country does not relapse into violence, and to attain sustainable peace and inclusive development that leaves no one behind," she added.
The vision was developed in the framework of the Libya Socioeconomic Dialogue Project, which aims at supporting the transition from conflict to sustainable peace. It was formulated based on discussions among more than 10,000 Libyan citizens from all walks of society.
In June 2021, ESCWA estimated that achieving peace in Libya could lead to significant economic gains, not only for the country but for its neighbours as well, amounting to $162 billion by 2025. In its report on “The economic cost of the Libyan conflict”, it had also sounded the alarm on the cost of the war, which had exceeded $576 billion in 2020.
One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.
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