Expected Council Action
In July, the Council is expected to receive briefings by the Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, and the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden), followed by consultations.
UNSMIL’s mandate expires on 15 September, and the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the sanctions committee expires on 15 November.
Key Recent Developments
Deep divisions remain between the parties in Libya, specifically between the competing institutions of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) and the Tripoli-based and UN-supported Presidency Council. Little progress has been achieved in implementing the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), signed on 17 December 2015 and designed to establish unified and legitimate institutions with the capacity to deliver basic services to the Libyan population. Special Representative Salamé has been focusing on implementing a UN action plan that the Council endorsed in October 2017. This plan includes parallel efforts to amend the LPA, finalise a new constitution, and prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections.
At a meeting in Paris on 29 May that was hosted by the French president and held under the auspices of the UN, Fayez al-Sarraj, President of the Presidency Council; Aguila Saleh, President of the HoR; Khaled al-Meshri, President of the High State Council; and General Khalifa Haftar, Commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), adopted the Paris declaration, agreeing to fulfil the necessary preconditions for the successful holding of elections as laid out by Salamé. These include a prior commitment by the parties to accept the results and the finalisation by 16 September of legislation to regulate the holding of elections. The date selected for the elections was 10 December. The declaration was not signed, however, as the actors represent competing institutions and do not recognise each other’s legitimacy. The Council adopted a presidential statement on 6 June welcoming the momentum gained by the conference and taking note of the commitment of the parties to follow the set timeframe.
The security situation in many parts of Libya remains precarious. Notably in the south, inter-tribal tensions reinforce existing rivalries among supporters of the LNA and those nominally affiliated with the Tripoli-based Presidency Council. In Derna in north-eastern Libya, General Haftar’s forces launched an offensive in May and continue to fight for control of the only city in eastern Libya not under his control.
Migrants and refugees in Libya continue to suffer from human rights violations and abuse, including arbitrary detention and forced labour, reportedly inflicted by state officials, armed groups, smugglers, traffickers and criminal gangs.
On 7 June, the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee designated six leaders of transnational trafficking networks for sanctions (travel ban and asset freeze). This was the first time that individuals were listed for human trafficking within any UN sanctions regime and the first time names were added to the committee’s list since June 2011. The four Libyans and two Eritreans were targeted for serious human rights abuses against migrants and refugees in Libya.
With the adoption of resolution 2420 on 11 June, the Council unanimously renewed the authorisation for member states, acting nationally or through regional organisations, to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya bound to or from the country that they have reasonable grounds to believe are violating the arms embargo.
Human Rights-Related Developments
On 22 May, the UN Human Rights Office and UNSMIL published a joint report, covering May 2017 to May 2018, detailing 36 attacks on medical facilities, personnel or patients. During its 38th session, the Human Rights Council held a clustered interactive dialogue on 21 June with the special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, to discuss her report on her mission to Libya from 25 to 31 January (A/HRC/38/39/Add.2). According to the report, the humanitarian situation facing internally displaced persons in Libya and the lack of protection of their human rights are of great concern, with an estimated 2 to 3 percent of the total Libyan population currently internally displaced.
Key Issues and Options
The key issue for the Council is how it can contribute to compelling the parties to adhere to the UN Action Plan. Generally, the Council could discuss and devise ways in which Council members could support, collectively and bilaterally, the UN-led mediation efforts in Libya. At the appropriate time, and in support of Salamé’s work, they might consider a visiting mission to Libya and neighbouring countries to engage with key stakeholders.
Council and Wider Dynamics
Overall, Council members are united in their support of Salamé’s mediation efforts, but they have often had different sensitivities regarding the way forward to achieve a solution. During negotiations for the presidential statement, some members, including the US, appeared to be more cautious towards endorsing a concrete timeline for the electoral process, considering the challenges to establish an environment conducive to holding successful elections.
The UK is the penholder on Libya, and Sweden chairs the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee.
UN DOCUMENTS ON LIBYA
|Security Council Resolutions|
|11 June 2018 S/RES/2420||This was a resolution renewing the authorisation for member states, acting nationally or through regional organisations, to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya bound to or from the country that they have reasonable grounds to believe are violating the arms embargo.|
|5 October 2017 S/RES/2380||This renewed the authorisation for member states to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya that they have reasonable grounds to suspect are being used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking.|
|14 September 2017 S/RES/2376||This extended UNSMIL’s mandate until 15 September 2018.|
|29 June 2017 S/RES/2362||This was a resolution renewing the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee and the measures regarding attempts to illicitly export oil from Libya.|
|26 February 2011 S/RES/1970||This resolution referred the situation in Libya to the ICC, imposed an arms embargo and targeted sanctions (assets freeze and travel ban) and established a sanctions committee.|
|Security Council Presidential Statements|
|6 June 2018 S/PRST/2018/11||This was a presidential statement welcoming the momentum generated by the international conference on Libya in Paris.|
|11 May 2018 S/2018/451||This was the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 2357.|
|7 May 2018 S/2018/429||This was the Secretary-General’s latest report on UNSMIL.|
|Security Council Meeting Records|
|21 May 2018 S/PV.8263||This was a briefing by the Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, and the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden).|
|9 May 2018 S/PV.8250||This was the semi-annual briefing by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on recent developments concerning cases in Libya.|