On 3 March 1991, Iraq and the United Nations Security Council signed a ceasefire agreement after Iraq was driven out of Kuwait by US-led coalition forces during Operation Desert Storm.  Subsequently, in the 1990s, the United Nations Security Council adopted numerous resolutions calling on Iraq to disarm its weapons of mass destruction without conditions and without delay. As no peace treaty was signed after the Gulf War, the war remained in force, including an alleged attack on former US President George H. W. Bush by Iraqi agents during a visit to Kuwait;  Iraq was bombed in June 1993 in response, Iraqi troops fired on coalition aircraft patrolling Iraqi no-fly zones, US President Bill Clinton`s bombing of Baghdad in 1998 during Operation Desert Fox, and a previous US bombing of Iraq during Operation Desert Strike in 1996. The war remained in force until 2003, when American and British forces invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein`s regime from power. It`s going to take a lot of work. The military monitoring committees, made up of representatives from both parties and responsible for implementing the agreement, should specify their terms and conditions. They will need the full support of their respective governments, senior military commanders and foreign sponsors. The last group, in particular Turkey, Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, should cooperate, although they fear that the success of the agreement will diminish their influence on the ground.
All have more to gain from a functioning, stable and united Libya than from a Libya that remains divided and chaotic, or that falls back to war. Ceasefire agreements will take some time and will require strong support from the UN Security Council, including the establishment of a monitoring mechanism. But tangible progress is also needed in defining and implementing the ceasefire commitments of both sides in order to create the appropriate conditions for the UN-backed political talks, which are scheduled for November. Several attempts have been made to negotiate ceasefires during the Syrian civil war.  I welcome the signing of a ceasefire agreement by the Libyan parties today in Geneva under the aegis of the United Nations. This is a fundamental step towards peace and stability in Libya. I commend the parties for placing the interests of their nation above their differences. I call on all stakeholders and regional actors to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement and ensure its immediate implementation. And I call on the international community to help Libyans implement the ceasefire and therefore end the conflict.