Libya is at a turning point after the U.N.-sponsored Libyan Political Dialogue Forum elected a temporary executive authority in February to unify the country and move toward elections by year’s end. However, sustainable peace cannot be achieved with only an agreement at the national level. And the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated economic challenges, strained the country’s health infrastructure, and added a new layer of complexity to the country’s conflict. Local-level cooperation—and linking these efforts to the national-level peace process—is of utmost importance to achieve a cohesive and peaceful country.
And despite a difficult year, there have been bright spots for Libya on this front. The COVID-19 pandemic yielded many examples of local-level initiatives where Libyans came together in challenging conditions to cooperate for a common goal. The hope is that these successes can lead to longer and more enduring areas of cooperation.
On March 4, USIP hosted Libya’s ambassador to the United States and Libyan civil society leaders for a look at stories of positive community cooperation during the current crisis—as well as a discussion on how Libyan and international organizations can build off these successes to navigate Libya’s complex conflict and ensure a peaceful future for the country.
Continue the conversation on Twitter with #COVIDCooperationLibya.
Mike Yaffe, opening remarks
Vice President, Middle East and Africa Center, U.S. Institute of Peace
Ambassador Wafa Bughaighis, keynote speaker
Libyan Ambassador to the United States
Director, Moomken Organization for Awareness and Media
Abdulrahman A. S. Elgheriani
President and CEO, Tanmia 360
Program Policy Officer, World Food Programme
Nate Wilson, moderator
Libya Country Manager, U.S. Institute of Peace