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Max Forte

Max Forte's Public Library

  • Trudeau spurns NDP votes he once courted 

          
      
                               
         
                                                                                                   Tom Parkin     
                           By                  Tom Parkin, Postmedia Network         
        

      First posted:                                 

  • In a show that ran last Sunday, “Neil from London” was among the ten “ordinary Canadians” the CBC picked to chat with Prime Minister Trudeau. Among his questions: do you agree the minimum wage should go up?

     

    If you watched the Liberals’ last campaign, you’d expect Trudeau to quickly say yes. Trudeau supported an NDP plan to boost the federal minimum wage to $15, but criticised it for not covering enough people.

     

    But this week, when Neil from London asked about it, Trudeau dodged. And then said he worried about negative effects from raising the minimum wage. His answer wasn’t clear. But the message sure was: there’ll be no minimum wage increase.

  • This and many other promises have outlived their usefulness to the Liberals. They were useful to attract enough NDP voters to win. But mission accomplished.

     

    Some of the Liberals’ promises were just plucked from air – the most famous being Trudeau’s pledge to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees by Dec. 31. The government couldn’t deliver much more than 6,000. Made a good headline though.

     

    It seems other fictions they had no intention to keep.

     

    Trudeau promised consultations on Harper’s TPP. But last week, his government signed it – without consultations or even an economic impact assessment.

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  • Why is America so angry?

     

     The American people have had enough and are turning on their government. Here   we analyse exactly why the public are rallying against the establishment -   from political, social and economic reasons to the rise of hardliners such   as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders  

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    2:48PM GMT 09 Feb 2016

  • At a recent debate on the presidential campaign trail, Donald Trump summed up America in 2016.

    "I will gladly accept the mantle of anger," he said. "People are very angry because our country is being run horribly."

    Many people outside the US have struggled to understand the transformation of Mr Trump from billionaire property mogul and television star to perhaps the next Republican presidential nominee.

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  •  

    Russian air strikes in Syria 'good thing': Del Ponte

  • GENEVA (AFP) - 

    Former war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, who is currently probing rights abuses in Syria, on Monday backed Russia's air strikes on "terrorist groups" in the war-torn country.

    "Overall, I think the Russian intervention is a good thing, because finally someone is attacking these terrorist groups," Del Ponte told Swiss public broadcaster RTS, listing the Islamic State group and Al-Nusra among the groups targeted.

    But Del Ponte, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, quickly added that the Russians apparently "are not distinguishing enough between the terrorists and others, and that is not as good."

    Her comments came amid international bickering over the Russian air strikes and what role they played in undermining last week's peace talks to end the country's five-year war.

  • Moscow launched a bombing campaign in Syria last year at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying it was targeting the Islamic State group and other jihadist organisations.

    The West has accused Russia of targeting more moderate factions that oppose Assad's regime, and Syrian activists say the strikes have killed civilians, allegations Moscow dismisses as "absurd".

    UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura last week suspended attempts to begin a dialogue between al-Assad's regime and the opposition, as Russia pressed on with its bombing campaign on the ground.

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  • After   Entering Aleppo With Russia's Help, The Syrian Army   May Set Its Sights On Raqqa
  • By Robert Fisk

      February 08,   2016 "Information   Clearing House"   -   "The   Independent" -   After   losing up to 60,000 soldiers in five years of   fighting, the Syrian army has suddenly scored its   greatest victory of the war – smashing its way   through Jabhat al-Nusra and the other rebel forces   around Aleppo and effectively sealing its fate as   Russia provided air strike operations outside the   city.

     

    The rebel   supply lines from Turkey to Aleppo have been cut,   but this does not mean the end of the story. For   many months, the regime’s own military authorities –   along with tens of thousands of civilians, including   many Christians – were trapped inside Aleppo and at   the mercy of shelling and mortar fire by the Nusra   fighters, who surrounded them until the army opened   the main highway south.

  •  During   this period, the only way to Aleppo was by plane   because the army held a tiny peninsula of   territory going to the airport – I flew out one   night on a military aircraft crowded with   wounded Syrian troops.
     
      But the   tables have turned. It is the rebels themselves   who are now surrounded, along with the tens of   thousands of civilians in their sector of the   city – but they have no airport to sustain them.   On the basis of so many other battles in this   appalling war, there is unlikely to be any   offensive for the centre of this greatest of   Syrian cities; rather it will be a slow and   grinding siege to force the insurgents to   surrender.

      In an   ironic twisting of recent history, the two Shia   villages of Nubl and Zahra – whose people had   been surrounded by rebels and starved for three   years, fed only by Syrian military airdrops –   have now been retaken by the Syrian military.

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  • Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton's State Department

         
      By     @davidsirota   AND   @AndrewPerezDC     On
  • Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States' oil-rich ally in the Middle East.

     

    Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region's fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.

  • But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At press conferences in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been “a top priority” for Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the “U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.”

     

    These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing -- the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 -- contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.

     

    The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

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  • Supporting Transition in Libya: Acheivments 2013-2014
  • Summary

    In September 2012, the Government of Libya and the UNDP signed the 2012-2015 Libya CPD. The CPD is the strategic programme document that details UNDP’s support to national development priorities and transitional governance in Libya. In line with the CPD, UNDP Libya mobilized about USD$ 26 Million to implement a number of important projects related to transitional governance (elections, constitution building, local governance and rule of law), women’s empowerment, environmental protection, and capacity strengthening of state institutions.

     

    This biannual report reflects the results and achievements of UNDP-assisted programmes covering the period from 2013-2014.

    • Highlights of the report: Supporting transition in Libya

         
      • ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE
      • SUPPORTING CONSTITUTION MAKING
      • ENCOURAGING CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
      • SUPPORTING TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE
      • PARLIAMENTARY SUPPORT
      • FOSTERING WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT
      • ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
      • STRENGTHENING INDEPENDENT HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS
      • LOCAL GOVERNANCE

    • UNDP´s Leadership in achieving the MDGs in Libya

       

      In terms of development, Libya is an upper middle income country7 that was ranked 64th out of 187 countries in the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI). The difference between 2010 HDI ranking and Gross National Income (GNI) ranking is minus 4 indicating that Libya has a deficit in human development: it is richer than it is developed. In 2003, 12% of the population is estimated to have been living below the poverty line of 418 dinars. Libya offers free universal health care and education.

       

      Over the last decades significant progress has been attained in health and education. The 2009 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report for Libya stated that the country was well on the way to attaining the MDGs by 2015. However, data underpinning this report may be unreliable and needs to be updated.

       

      The 2006-2009 UNDP country programme, which was extended to 2010, identified the following cooperation areas:

       
         
      • mainstreaming the Millennium Development Goals;
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      • addressing socio-economic challenges and encouraging economic diversification;
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      • fostering human resources for sustainable human development and developing a knowledge society;
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      • supporting on-going modernization processes for better economic performance;
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      • and improving service delivery and governance.
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      In light of the recent political change in Libya and the subsequent national (re)prioritizing by the Government of Libya, as well as the mentioned validity concerns of previous MDG data and indicators, UNDP is reviewing and re-aligning its MDG-related programming.

  • Partnerships

     

    In the programming for achievement of the MDGs in Libya, UNDP works in close collaboration with the Government of Libya, and other UN entities operating under the UN coordination framework, as well as with various national and international NGOs.

  • Building a sustainable democracy in Libya
  • A year ago, Khadija Baba would not have considered engaging in any independent civil society or political activities in her home town of Tripoli.

     

    Not only was such activity forbidden under the former regime in Libya, but it would have likely landed the university student in prison.

     

    Now, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Baba has just completed the first phase of training to become a Civic Education Instructor for her peers in Libyan universities.

     

    “Youth were at the heart of the revolution in Libya,” Baba said. “We young people have to play a role in the transition of this country to a sustainable democracy.”

  • Baba was among 15 women and 11 men selected to attend a comprehensive civic educational training session, employing the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) approach.

     

    "The BRIDGE approach is very suitable in the Libyan context,” Emad Yousef, a BRIDGE instructor, explained. “It is not prescriptive, and it encourages participants to develop creative and appropriate solutions to challenges that they face in their work."

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  • What We Do

     

    The challenges facing Libya at this juncture lie at the crossroads of good governance and inclusive development. UNDP is supporting the transition in Libya focusing on the following areas: Preparing for elections, civic participation in elections and constitution building processes, building strong and accountable institutions, building the capacity of judiciary and supporting transitional justice, creating jobs and economic recovery and protecting the environment.

  • Our Goals

     

    UNDP in Libya aims to ensure that: Libyan citizens participate actively in the democratic transition of their nation; Central and local government authorities are strengthened to provided better services; Libya successfully manages its transition to a state founded on Rule of Law; Livelihoods opportunities and economic recovery are enhanced; and National environmental management systems are strengthened.

    • Our Stories

             
       
         
      •   Participants in a civic education training session in Libya learned how to develop media campaigns for elections. (UNDP) 

             Building a sustainable democracy in Libya
           
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        A year ago, Khadija Baba would not have considered engaging in any independent civil society or political activities in her home town of Tripoli. Not onlymore

         
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      • View More
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      •   Candidate Radhya Bourawi is elated to have voted after a three-hour wait (Credit: UNDP) 

             My voice for her: supporting women candidates
           
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        283 women candidates from across Libya participated in the launch of the “My Voice for Her” national awareness campaign for women candidates that took place inmore

         
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  • About Libya
  • Introduction
    • 0.76
       

      Human Development Index

       
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      74.5
       

      Life expectancy at birth

       
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      0.31
       

      Gender inequality index

       
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      0.73
       

      Education index (expected and mean years of schooling)

       
    •  
       
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      50.1
       

      Environmental Performance Index

       
    •  
       
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      78.1%
       

      Urban population (% of Population)

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  • ISIS airstrikes by Canada to end by Feb. 22, training forces to triple

     
     

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says airstrikes 'do not on their own achieve long-term stability'

     

        By Susana Mas, CBC News  <script>  if (!_sf_async_config){ var _sf_async_config = {}; }  if (!!_sf_async_config.authors){  _sf_async_config.authors += ",Susana Mas";  }else{  _sf_async_config.authors = "Susana Mas";  }  if(!CBC) { var CBC = {}; }  if(!CBC.APP) { CBC.APP = {}; }  if(!CBC.APP.SC) { CBC.APP.SC = {}; }  CBC.APP.SC.authors = "Susana Mas, CBC News";  </script>    Posted: Feb 08, 2016

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will cease all coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria by Feb. 22, while it beefs up its military efforts, including the number of special forces deployed on the ground to train Iraqi forces for the next two years.

     

    "It is important to understand that while airstrike operations can be very useful to achieve short-term military and territorial gains, they do not on their own achieve long-term stability for local communities," Trudeau said during an announcement in Ottawa on Monday.

     

    "Canadians learned this lesson first-hand during a very difficult decade in Afghanistan, where our forces became expert military trainers renowned around the world."

  • Trudeau said while Canada will pull its six fighter jets from the bombing mission, it will also triple, from 69, the number of Canadian Forces members helping train local ground troops to fight ISIS in northern Iraq. It will also increase by 230 the 600 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed as part coalition mission.

     

    Canada's military effort under Operation IMPACT will also include maintaining aircrew and support personnel for one CC-150 Polaris aerial refuelling aircraft and up to two CP-140 Aurora aerial surveillance aircraft. Canada will also send troops to mark targets for the coalition partners.

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  • Daesh Aims to Create Chaos in Libya by ‘Disrupting’ Oil Activity
  • 14:24 08.02.2016
  • As Daesh (Islamic State) militants continue to increase their presence in Libya, they have not yet sought to gain control over the country’s oil fields, but rather to disrupt oil production in Libya, political analyst Ethan Chorin, who is currently the CEO of Perim Associates think-tank, told Radio Sputnik.

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  • Mon Feb 8, 2016 11:48am EST   
      Related:     World,   United Nations,   Libya   
     

    Libya forces say conduct strikes on Islamic State in Derna, plane crashes

     
      BENGHAZI, Libya
  • Forces allied to Libya's eastern government carried out air strikes on Islamic State militant areas of Derna city, but an aircraft later crashed because of mechanical failure, a spokesman said on Monday.

    Libyan National Army forces, led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar, carried out an air strike on the Hay Arrbamiya area of Derna, a city that has been the scene of fighting between Islamic State militants and rival Islamist fighters.

    An eyewitness in the city confirmed an airstrike on Derna in the area controlled by Islamic State but could not give details on any damage or casualties.

  • "An aircraft of the LNA, a MiG-23, crashed due to a technical problem," LNA local spokesman AbdulKareem Sabra said, adding it had been involved in air strikes on the city. "The pilot managed to escape and is well."

       

    Libya is caught in a conflict between two rival factions, each with its own government and backed by competing brigades of former rebels who once battled together against Muammar Gaddafi in their 2011 uprising.

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  • Gaddafi Son Court Hearing Postponed Until March 13 - Libya Justice Ministry

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    A court hearing into repression and murder charges of Saadi Gaddafi, a son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, was adjourned until March 13, the Libyan Justice Ministry said Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the ministry, Gaddafi’s defense team requested to postpone the hearing to better prepare for the legal process.

     

    "Tripoli Court of Appeal adjourned the hearing until March 13, 2016," the ministry wrote on its official Facebook page.

     

    The eldest son of Libya’s former long-standing leader is suspected of being complicit in the murder of a football coach in 2005, as well as in repressions during uprisings in the country, which led to Gaddafi’s overthrow and killing in 2011.

  • Libya's central bank causing 'civil war' by paying warring militias, says UK envoy

     

     Central bank still paying anti-Gaddafi militias five years on – despite most   of them drifting into thuggery   

  •  
     
      
      Colin Freeman 
        
     

    4:21PM GMT 08 Feb 2016

  • Libya's central bank has fuelled the civil war by continuing to pay salaries to all the country's myriad warring militias, Britain's ambassador to Tripoli said on Monday.

    Five years on the uprising that overthrew Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the country is in a state of meltdown thanks to constant in-fighting among its different armed factions – who are all still on the government payroll.

    Peter Millett, Britain's ambassador to Libya, told a Lords hearing on Monday that the number of gunmen had multiplied since the end of the war because of the Libyan central bank's policy – which began after militiamen threatened to minister of finance.

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    • Libya seeks extra week to form unity government under UN deal

       
        
        

        Libya's presidential council says it needs one more week to form a national unity government, after the country's parliament rejects an initial line-up.

       
  • TRIPOLI: Libya's presidential council on Monday (Feb 8) said it needs one more week to form a national unity government, after the country's internationally-recognised parliament rejected an initial line-up.

    The council, chaired by prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj, had been due to submit the names of a new unity government on Wednesday for approval by the recognised parliament.

    A 32-member unity government was announced on Jan 19 under a UN-brokered deal signed the previous month in Morocco aimed at ending years of bloodshed in oil-rich Libya and which led to the formation of the nine-member council. But the recognised parliament on Jan 25 rejected the line-up, saying it was too large and set a 10-day deadline for a smaller cabinet.

  • Sarraj, a businessman, has been holding a series of consultations with Libyan political players to forge a new government. On Monday, the presidential council said it had asked the legislature based in the eastern city of Tobruk to grant it an extra week, a council source told AFP.

    The source said the council "needs more time" to discuss the line-up.

    World powers have been pressing Libyans to back a unity government as a step towards ending the political chaos that has gripped the country since the 2011 ouster of Moamer Kadhafi.

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  • Fence built on border with Libya completed (Defence)
  • Saturday, 06 February 2016
  • MEDENINE, (TAP) - Minister of National Defence Farhat Horchani announced Saturday the completion of the erection of a barrier on the border with Libya.

     

    Works, carried out over 250 kms (from Ras Jedir to Dhehiba), lasted only four months instead of a year, he noted.

     

    During a field visit to the buffer zone in the Tunisian south, Horchani said the defence system will be equipped in the coming months with an advanced electronic sensor system, in co-operation with the United States and Germany.

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  • Tunisia completes barrier along Libya border

     
     

    Interior minister says construction of project marks "important day" for Tunisia in its fight against "terrorism".

     

  • Tunisia has completed the construction of a barrier along its border with Libya, months after attacks on its capital and a beach resort that killed dozens of tourists.

     

    Defence Minister Farhat Horchani told reporters on Saturday that the construction of the project marked "an important day" for Tunisia in its struggle against "terrorism".

     

    Two attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group last year killed 59 foreign tourists, with Tunisian officials saying the assailants had trained in conflict-ridden Libya where ISIL is active.

     

    "Tunisia is capable of fighting against terrorism in an active and efficient way," Horchani said during a tour of the barrier.

  • 'System of obstacles'

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  • Tunisia unveils anti-jihadi fence on border with conflict-hit Libya

       

    The defence structure, announced last summer, is composed of sand alongside water-filled trenches and monitoring centres to counter militant threat.

    • By:   Associated Press,    Published on Sat Feb 06 2016    
        
       
         
        
       
       
        
       
         
       
         
       
       
             
       
             
        

        Photos  View photos 

        
            
      •   A picture taken on February 6, 2016, shows a trench dug along the Libyan border, near the Ras Jedir crossing point. The construction of a barrier, which includes berms and trenches, along the Libyan border from Ras Jedir on the Mediterranean coast to Dhiba was announced in 2015 after a terrorist attack on the national museum in Tunis killed 22 people.  zoom 
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      BEN GUERDANE, TUNISIA—Tunisia’s defence minister has visited an anti-jihadi fence that’s being built on the country’s border with Libya to stop Islamist militants from entering Tunisian territory.

       
       
       

      Defence Minister Farhat Horchani inspected the first completed part of the 196-kilometre fence Saturday, which aims to counter the threat from jihadi militants and render the entire border impassable by vehicles. Horchani said the project came about with financial assistance from Germany and the U.S.

       
       
       

      Military personnel and dozens of journalists were also given a tour of the defence structure, composed of sand alongside water-filled trenches and monitoring centres.

       
       
       

      The fence initiative was announced last summer after two terrorist attacks in three months killed 59 foreign tourists and garnered world attention.

  • Libya: UN envoy envisages flexible, integrated mission to support transition

    Special Representative Ian Martin. UN Photo/Mark Garten

    7 March 2012 –
    The top United Nations envoy for Libya told the Security Council today that the Organization’s mission in the North African country plans to maintain a “light footprint” there while striving to provide flexible, responsive and high quality expertise to support the democratic transition.

      “We recommended that this support be provided in the form of a structurally integrated mission to maximize the impact of the entire United Nations system,” said Ian Martin, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), in a briefing to Council.

  • 7 March 2012 – The top United Nations envoy for Libya told the Security Council today that the Organization’s mission in the North African country plans to maintain a “light footprint” there while striving to provide flexible, responsive and high quality expertise to support the democratic transition.

      “We recommended that this support be provided in the form of a structurally integrated mission to maximize the impact of the entire United Nations system,” said Ian Martin, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), in a briefing to Council.

  • He said the proposed structure of UNSMIL would be based on a relatively small, high-level core staff, who would have advisory and coordination roles in their respective expertise, as well as the capacity to mobilize additional support when needed.

      He added that UNSMIL should, over the next 12 months, focus on five main areas – the democratic transition and electoral process; public security; the prevention of arms proliferation and border security; human rights, transitional justice and the rule of law; and coordination of international assistance.

      “It is our intention to build on the conclusions of the report of the Secretary-General on Civilian Capacity to design new and more flexible ways to mobilize civilian expertise in support of the Libyans,” he said.

      “Maintaining a capacity to respond to emerging needs is a key part of our mission,” said Mr. Martin, calling for the support of the Council in agreeing to the Government of Libya’s request and the Secretary-General’s recommendation that UNSMIL’s mandate be extended for 12 months.

      He emphasized the importance of ensuring that women are involved in the transition through greater participation in the democratic process. The youth also expect to be fully involved in the transition, Mr. Martin said, stressing that their participation will be a constant interest of the mission over the next one year.

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