What's In Blue

Posted Fri 28 Oct 2011

Resolution on Prevention of Proliferation of Arms in Libya and the Region

Council members are currently negotiating a draft resolution on the prevention of the proliferation of arms in Libya and the region, particularly man-portable surface-to-air missiles. An early version of the draft text was circulated by Russia to P5 members last week. Following P5 negotiations earlier this week, it was circulated to the wider Council membership yesterday. It is understood that expert level meetings took place yesterday and today on the draft.

While it is unclear when this resolution will be adopted, all indications are that Council members are moving quite quickly towards final agreement on the text. The Council also signaled its intention to address the issue of proliferation of arms in Libya expeditiously in resolution 2016 which was adopted yesterday (27 October).

It seems that this draft resolution, which is apparently not under Chapter VII, calls on the Libyan authorities and neighbouring states to take the necessary measures to prevent the proliferation of arms, particularly man-portable surface-to-air missiles and for member states and regional and international actors to provide assistance to achieve this goal.

It appears that the draft also focuses on the risk to regional stability caused by the proliferation of all arms and related materiel, particularly man-portable surface-to-air missiles, from Libya. It also emphasises the link between the proliferation of arms and terrorist activities. Another area that is apparently highlighted is the need to control and eliminate chemical weapons stockpiles in Libya.

It seems the text calls for specific action from the 1973 Libya sanctions committee by asking it to work with the Panel of Experts and Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and other UN bodies to assess threats and challenges created by the proliferation of arms from Libya and to provide the Council with proposals to counter the threat. It also requests the Secretary-General to include updates on the implementation of this resolution in his reports on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). It is unclear what longer-term role the Libya sanctions committee might have in dealing with this issue but it looks like there is a possibility that it may be required to monitor this issue over time.

It seems that Council members are in agreement over the serious threat posed by the proliferation of arms, particularly man portable surface-to-air missiles, and that terrorists should not be given access to this type of weapons. It appears that inputs from various members have led to the addition of language on the need to eliminate chemical weapons stockpiles, greater emphasis on the regional angle of this threat and more specific language on Libya’s obligations under international law.

It also appears that there may be interest from some Council members in highlighting the proliferation of small arms and light weapons as an issue of concern.

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