I first would like to start this meeting by first expressing my sincere gratitude to the government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt for hosting us graciously again for this second round of talks here in Cairo, and for offering us their continued hospitality. We are grateful for Egypt’s support for the United Nations’ efforts in Libya to promote a lasting political solution to the Libyan crisis.
Over the past six days, I have sat with you, and I have witnessed extensive consultations and positive discussions between you members of the Joint Committee between the House of Representatives and the High Council of State on Constitutional Track. You met to discuss and to achieve consensus on a number of key issues linked to the Constitutional Track.
I respect and appreciate the efforts you have made in tangibly moving these consultations forward, and to continue jointly to seek and cultivate consensus and constructive solutions for the points of contention.
I am really pleased that the Joint Committee was able to reach this initial consensus on 137 articles, and I am particularly pleased that you were able to agree on Chapter 2 on the rights and freedoms, as well as on the Chapters on legislative and judicial authority, with the exception of a handful of articles. Indeed, you were able to have an initial agreement on many articles of the Draft Constitution. This demonstrates that you have shown commitment, and I strongly encourage you to continue your consultations toward reaching the final consensus on the remaining articles.
And here I’d like to pause to thank Mr. Ahmed Yacoub and Dr. Abdullah Ali for their incredible work over the last couple of days, but I’d also like to thank our Rapporteurs who I know also spent long hours and late into the evenings, that’s Ms. Asmah, Mr. Mabrouk, Fathallah, Dr. Abd Al-Shokri. So thank you all as well. I really want to express my thanks to everyone around the table here. I know the consultations were inside the room and also consultations on the margins mean that you have held to build on consensus, so I do appreciate that dedication.
I also appreciate that this all is a work in progress, but in all of this, we have to keep in mind that the Libyan people are looking to this Committee with high hopes and expectations that your work will conclude and lead to a full agreement to enable the holding of national, comprehensive, and inclusive elections as soon as possible. I don’t need to tell you that these elections will fulfill the aspirations of over 7 million of your compatriots, fellow Libyans, who have the internationally recognized fundamental right to go to the ballot box and to elect those who represent them in presidential and legislative elections. We can’t let them down. We need to end this long transitional period that your country has witnessed over the last 11 years and we need to do it within a firm constitutional framework.
I again commend you on the progress made while also you remain conscious of the amount of work that you have left to do here in this period between now and the next session when we will gather on 11 June. I also take this opportunity to thank all of the assistants from the two chambers who are the unknown soldiers. I also want to thank the United Nations team who joined this round and the previous round. And to the translators who accompanied us.
Thank you very much.