By Sami Zaptia.
London, 15 January 2021:
Libya’s ambassador to the United Nations, Taher al-Sunni, stressed the urgent need to put an end to the losses suffered by the Libya’s frozen funds, calling for this issue not to be politicized because it concerns the right to preserve the wealth of the Libyan people allocated to future generations, the official state news agency LANA reported yesterday.
Sunni stressed in his intervention at the virtual meeting held between the UN Libya Sanctions Committee and the management of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), that the purpose of the decision to freeze Libyan funds in 2011 is to preserve the funds of the Libyan people during the country’s current political transition period.
He said Libya does not demand that the freeze be lifted now in light of the country’s current division, but to preserve it from continued erosion, which he said is clearly being exploited by some countries and financial institutions.
Sunni called on the Sanctions Committee to speed up the development of a solution to this problem, which he said the Libyan state has been pointing out for years, yet no actual measures have been taken to prevent these avoidable losses, by making some adjustments to the current sanctions regime.
At the end of the meeting, Sunni called for regular meetings between the Sanctions Committee, the LIA, and the Permanent Mission of Libya, with the upcoming meetings to be public, in which all parties will assume their responsibilities, especially those who try to take advantage of the current situation and waste the wealth of Libyans.
Tuesday’s virtual meeting between the UN Libya Sanctions Committee and the LIA’s management focused on the negative effects of the freeze system based on the assets of the LIA and the African Portfolio, and discussed obtaining licenses for contracts and obligations guaranteed by the LIA in accordance with Security Council resolutions since 2011.
The LIA’s chairman and his team made an open presentation to clarify the consequences of preventing it from managing frozen assets and the erosion of these assets with the volatility of financial markets and the inability to avoid fluctuations in financial markets and global economic crises, and the consequences of delays in approval and issuance of licenses for contracts and obligations of additional losses to the institution and the Libyan state.
Ali Mahmoud, Chairman and CEO of the LIA, explained the steps that have been taken and completed in the LIA’s review and audit with the help of specialized international companies, which have concluded with the same results that confirm the increase in the volume of Libyan funds losses due to the inability of the institution to manage frozen assets.
During the meeting, a number of questions were asked by members of the UN Sanctions Committee which the LANA report claims were answered by the LIA team.