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

Ahmed Albibas
Director, Moomken Organization for Awareness and Media

Abdulrahman A. S. Elgheriani
President and CEO, Tanmia 360

Craig Browne
Program Policy Officer, World Food Programme

Nate Wilson, moderator
Libya Country Manager, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

What’s the State of Play on the Global Fragility Act?

What’s the State of Play on the Global Fragility Act?

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

By: Corinne Graff, Ph.D.

The White House’s recent release of 10-year stabilization and conflict prevention plans marks another milestone in U.S. efforts to implement the closely watched Global Fragility Act (GFA). The legislation received bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress before being signed into law by then President Donald Trump in 2019. It requires the U.S. government to develop a strategy for preventing the drivers of violent conflict and extremism, and to test a more coordinated, cost-effective and sustained U.S. approach in hot spots around the world.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience

Ask the Experts: What Does Libya Need for Elections to Succeed?

Ask the Experts: What Does Libya Need for Elections to Succeed?

Monday, March 20, 2023

By: Thomas M. Hill;  Tarek Megerisi

Abdoulaye Bathily, the U.N. secretary-general’s special representative for Libya, recently announced his new plan for elections in Libya, which he hopes will take place later this year. But the plan itself was light on implementation, and after similar plans collapsed in 2021, the U.N. will need to learn from past shortcomings to ensure there is not only a solid basis for elections, but a strong foundation for what comes after as well.

Type: Blog

Democracy & GovernancePeace Processes

The Latest @ USIP: Libya’s Institutional Legitimacy Crisis

The Latest @ USIP: Libya’s Institutional Legitimacy Crisis

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

By: Abdoulaye Bathily;  Andrew Cheatham;  Can Dizdar;  Ambassador Richard Norland

As Libya’s cease-fire continues to hold, the country can take the next step toward long-term stability by addressing its institutional legitimacy crisis. Without public trust in decision-making bodies, the country will struggle with crucial issues at the heart of the conflict, such as Libya’s vast oil wealth and how to distribute it. Democratically elected leadership is the best way forward — but elections remain elusive amid a political and military stalemate.

Type: Blog

Democracy & GovernancePeace Processes

Thomas Hill on the U.N. Mission in Libya

Thomas Hill on the U.N. Mission in Libya

Thursday, January 26, 2023

By: Thomas M. Hill

Twelve years since the fall of Qaddafi, the United Nations' Libya mission carries the same mandate as it did in 2011. With the country still experiencing various degrees of conflict and upheaval, it’s time to “re-envision what we want the U.N. to do” in Libya and create a “mandate [that] will reflect that,” says USIP’s Thomas Hill.

Type: Podcast

View All Publications