What's In Blue

Posted Mon 29 Aug 2011

Monthly Libya Briefing and Consultations

Tomorrow (30 August) Council members are expected to receive their regular monthly briefing on Libya. It seems that the Secretary-General may brief the Council on the latest developments in Libya. This will be followed by consultations which Council Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe and the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-Conflict Planning on Libya, Ian Martin will attend.

Following past monthly briefings on Libya,Council members are expecting to hear about developments over the last month but are particularly interested in the meetings Martin and Khatib held with Transitional National Council (NTC) leaders last week as well as on UN planning for a post-conflict Libya.

It seems that the European Council members and US have been discussing the elements for a draft resolution on Libya likely covering key elements such as the type of UN presence, how to deal with frozen assets and possible exemptions to the arms embargo. The timing of the circulation of the draft resolution appears dependent on the situation on the ground. On 25 August, the Council agreed to unfreeze US1.5 billion for humanitarian needs. Due to a lack of consensus in the Sanctions Committee, the issue was discussed during Council consultations on 24 August and the US circulated a draft resolution which called for the unfreezing of the funds for specific humanitarian needs.

There have been a number of meetings on Libya over the last week. Martin and Khatib met with NTC leaders on Wednesday, 24 August, to discuss post-conflict needs in Libya. It appears that the NTC leaders would like the UN to provide humanitarian assistance, as well as support for elections, transitional justice and policing and longer term assistance in socio-economic recovery, rule of law and institution-building. Martin told the press in Istanbul on 25 August that the UN is looking at an “integrated advance mission”.

On Thursday, 25 August the Libyan Contact Group urged the Council to release assets frozen under UN sanctions and agreed that the UN should lead international efforts in post-conflict Libya. It also stressed that the reconciliation process in Libya should be based on the principles of inclusiveness and avoidance of retribution.

On Friday, 26 August, the Secretary-General held a video-conference with the heads of the African Union (AU), League of Arab States (LAS), Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the European Union (EU) and asked them to join the UN in helping the new Libyan authorities in delivering emergency aid and providing a democratic transition.

Following an AU summit meeting, on 26 August the AU Peace and Security Council issued a statement on Libya which called for the formation of an all-inclusive transitional government. The LAS, which met over the weekend, gave Libya’s seat to the NTC, and issued a statement asking for the assets and property of Libya to be unfrozen and requesting that the NTC be given Libya’s seat at the UN.

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