What's In Blue

UN Support Mission in Libya Mandate Renewal

Tomorrow (14 September), the Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) until 15 September 2018. The negotiations of the draft, which does not change the mandate of the mission, went smoothly. The draft was circulated by the penholder, the UK, on 8 September and one round of negotiations was held earlier this week. The draft passed through silence this morning and is now in blue.

The draft welcomes the recommendations of the strategic assessment review conducted by the Department of Political Affairs to enhance UNSMIL’s ability to support the political process and to strengthen coordination across the mission and the UN country team. In this sense, while UNSMIL’s mediation and good offices efforts are already a key element of the mandate, the draft adds new language emphasising that these efforts are to be carried out as part of “an inclusive political process within the framework of the Libyan Political Agreement”(LPA).

New language has further been incorporated that welcomes recent efforts to strengthen an inclusive political dialogue among all Libyans—including efforts by Libya’s neighbours, international partners and regional organizations. However, it supports the Secretary-General’s call to consolidate the various initiatives under the leadership of the UN and underscores the central role of the UN in facilitating a Libyan-led political solution.
The draft also includes a new reference to the importance of ensuring that existing sanctions measures are fully implemented and that cooperation continues between the Libyan authorities and the 1970 Sanctions Committee.

At the request of the US, language was included requesting the Secretary-General to develop detailed objectives for the implementation of UNSMIL’s mandated tasks, and to report on progress towards these objectives. An earlier proposal to request the development of benchmarks was dropped when at least one member expressed a preference to wait for the Secretary-General’s comprehensive strategy and action plan for Libya that is expected to be presented next week during the high-level meeting on Libya in the margins of the general debate of the General Assembly.

This comprehensive strategy and action plan is expected to address outstanding political issues and their sequencing. These issues were outlined by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNSMIL, Ghassan Salamé, in his briefing (S/PV.8032) to the Council on 28 August:

• the need to amend the LPA and to reach an agreement on the legal and political significance of the end of the transitional period outlined in the LPA in order to avoid an institutional vacuum;
• the prospect of adopting a new constitution; and
• the “growing and widespread calls” for elections bearing in mind that the political and technical preconditions for successful elections need to be addressed, particularly a commitment by all parties to accept the election results.

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