What's In Blue

Posted Tue 6 Mar 2012

Libya Briefing and UN Mission Resolution

Tomorrow (7 March) the Council is scheduled to receive a briefing from Ian Martin, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Martin, who last briefed the Council on 29 February via videoconference, is expected to present the Secretary-General’s report on UNSMIL which was submitted to Council members on 1 March. (Resolution 2022 extending UNSMIL’s mandate on 2 December requested a report with recommendations on the next phase of UNSMIL’s support to Libya.)

Council members are also likely to want updates on recent developments such as the declaration by tribal leaders and militia commanders of a semi-autonomous region in eastern Libya. Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib is also expected to be present for tomorrow’s briefing. (El-Keib is in New York to attend another ministerial level debate initiated by the UK on challenges and opportunities in the Middle East.)

Martin’s briefing will be followed by consultations where Council members are likely to discuss UNSMIL’s new mandate following its 16 March expiration date). On 2 March, the UK, the lead country on Libya, circulated a draft resolution focusing on UNSMIL’s renewal. The draft is also expected to include changes to the sanctions regime and renew the mandate of the panel of experts that was created under resolution 1973 and due to expire on 17 March. The resolution is scheduled for adoption on 12 March, the same day as the debate on the Middle East.

Council members had their first discussion on the draft resolution this morning (6 March) at expert level. Apparently the draft takes into account recommendations from the SG’s report that asks UNSMIL to remain flexible while focusing on a number of key areas where it could assist the Libyan authorities. The areas highlighted in the report include assistance in democratic transition, public security, management and control of Libya’s weapons and borders, human rights, transitional justice and the rule of law and coordination of international efforts and development of partnerships.

It seems the current draft proposes the extension of the mandate for 12 months with a possible review after the forthcoming elections in Libya in June. However, it appears that a few Council members see a six month mandate renewal as a more appropriate timeframe. They also feel that this would possibly allow for the mandate to be adapted if necessary following the June elections and the formation of the new government.

All Council members seem to acknowledge that the general situation in Libya remains fluid. The lack of security, reports of widespread abuse of internally displaced people, namely the Tawergha, as well as human rights violations of detainees are of particularly worrying to many Council members.

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