Representatives of Libya’s main financial institutions ended two days of talks in Geneva on Tuesday, focusing on monetary reform, resolving the country’s banking crisis and unifying the national budget.
“I hope the meeting here in Geneva will be another concrete and tangible step forward together … live their lives,” said Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in Libya, Stephanie Williams.
Participants agreed to meet again in January to review progress and consider further technical measures to stabilize the Libyan economy.
Members of the Commission of Libyan Economic Experts, representatives of the two branches of the Central Bank of Libya, its audit office, the Ministry of Finance and the National Oil Corporation and independent Libyan experts met to discuss crucial economic reforms.
The World Bank also attended the meeting.
The talks were supported by Switzerland and co-chaired by Egypt, the European Union and the United States.
The participants agreed to unify the exchange rate to ensure greater stability of the Libyan dinar and fight against corruption.
They also welcomed the central bank’s plan to deal with the banking crisis in a way that restores confidence in the banking sector and ensures national access to liquidity and agreed to define measures to consolidate the national budget.
“This includes the unification and rationalization of the public sector wage bill, the allocation of sufficient funds for development and infrastructure throughout the country,” said a statement issued by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. (MANUL).
He called for effectively managing the growing national debt and tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants also agreed that the current economic situation is unsustainable and that Libyan institutions must take steps towards functional unification, operate transparently and prove that they can effectively meet the needs of the people.
As discussions continued, oil revenues collected since September had been frozen at the Libyan Foreign Bank.
“To overcome this situation, participants will work in good faith to restore access to oil revenues by developing solutions that address the underlying challenges that necessitated the freeze,” UNSMIL said.
On October 23, the UN announced a permanent ceasefire agreement between Libya’s warring rivals during its 5 + 5 facilitated talks with the Libyan Joint Military Commission in Geneva.
Libya has been torn by civil war since the ousting of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Based in the capital Tripoli and currently headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the Government of National Accord was founded in 2015 as part of a UN-led agreement. But efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by militias loyal to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar.
Al-Sarraj’s government has been fighting Haftar’s militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has left thousands dead.
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