By Sami Zaptia.
London, 11 February 2020:
UNSMIL reported today that Libyan economic experts gathered under its facilitation in Cairo over the last two days agreed that the country’s fragmentation was hurting its economy and a commission needed to be set up for more detailed studies. They agreed to reconvene in early March.
Here is UNSMIL’s full statement on the economic track of Libyan negotiations aimed at finding stability to the beleaguered country:
‘‘On 9 and 10 February, 28 Libyan economic experts gathered in Cairo for the second round of talks of the Libyan Economic and Financial Track, one of the three intra-Libyan tracks UNSMIL is organizing – along with the military and political tracks – and endorsed by the International Conference on Libya held in Berlin, on 19 January 2020.
Representatives from across the Libyan political and geographical spectrum participated in the meeting, in addition to representatives of the main Libyan financial and economic institutions as well as sector specialists and academic experts. Participants agreed on the Terms of Reference for the Libyan Expert Economic Commission and its mechanisms.
Participants agreed that Libya’s prolonged institutional fragmentation and divergent policies were negatively impacting the economy, particularly the banking sector. Given the country’s worsening economic crisis, including the latest halt in oil production, the participants concluded that the Commission was needed to work on issues of immediate concern until a unified national government is established.
At the outset, the Commission will focus on improving revenue management and distribution, particularly how to enhance transparency and decentralization, as well as working to address the urgent banking crisis. The experts also examined challenges and opportunities for reconstruction and development. They will establish three working groups to tackle these problem sets in the coming weeks.
The Libyan economic experts’ meeting in Cairo was part of the final step of Special Representative of the Secretary General Ghassan Salame’s three-step plan to achieve a comprehensive and lasting settlement that addresses the underlying drivers of the Libyan crisis. The experts agreed to a next meeting in early March.
Representatives of the international community were invited for a briefing by participants on the results of the meeting’’.