UN Security Council extends mandate for Libya mission

Status: 02/01/2022 03:09 a.m

The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution extending the mission in Libya by just three months until April 30. Previously, there was a tug of war mainly between Russia and the United States.

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously extended the UN mission in Libya. The mandate will now continue until April 30 without any changes to the content. The resolution was drafted by Britain after days of a tug-of-war between the US and Russia.

No agreement on fundamental reorientation

The Council’s hope that presidential and parliamentary elections will soon be held in Libya is not mentioned in the text. The presidential elections, originally scheduled for December 24, were supposed to bring about an end to the chaotic conditions and conflicts that have lasted for more than ten years. However, they have been postponed indefinitely. There is also no mention of ongoing efforts to form a transitional government in the country.

Previously, the most powerful UN body had not been able to agree on a resolution with a fundamental reorientation. A resolution drafted by Great Britain to extend the UN mission in Libya until September 15 was actually supposed to be voted on last week. However, the vote was postponed after Russia objected and circulated its own draft resolution.

Objection from Russia

Moscow prevailed on a number of points in the new resolution. It advocated only a short extension of the UNSMIL mission (United Nations Support Mission in Libya, German: United Nations Support Mission in Libya) and threatened to veto it.

The background to the dispute is the de facto vacant post of UN special envoy for Libya, which has been occupied by US diplomat Stephanie Williams since the Slovak Jan Kubis resigned in November and who, as special adviser to UN Secretary General António Guterres, is in charge of official business.

Russia is urging UN Secretary-General Guterres to quickly nominate a new special envoy, while the US would like to keep Williams in place.

British UN ambassador disappointed

British Deputy Ambassador to the UN James Kariuki called the adopted resolution disappointing. The role of the UN in supporting an inclusive political process in Libya is now more important than ever.

Deputy US Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis spoke of a suboptimal outcome for the Libyan people that puts the Security Council in a bad light.


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