Adopting Resolution 2629 (2022), Security Council Extends Mandate of Libya Support Mission until 31 July, Asks Secretary-General to Appoint Special Representative
Extending the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for three months today, the Security Council decided that the Mission will be led by a Tripoli-based Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2629 (2022), (to be issued as document S/RES/2629(2022)), the Council decided to extend, until 31 July, the mandate of UNSMIL as an integrated special political mission, as set out in resolution 2542 (2020) and paragraph 16 of resolution 2570 (2021).
The Council, noting the independent strategic review of the Mission (document S/2021/716), requested UNSMIL to implement the proposed recommendations. It also decided that a Special Representative be supported by two Deputy Special Representatives. In this regard, the Council called upon the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative promptly.
Further, the Council requested that UNSMIL, in implementing the recommendations in the strategic review, explore all avenues to increase efficiency and redeploy existing resources, including through prioritization and the reconfiguration of tasks and resources.
The Council emphasized that there can be no military solution in Libya and demanded full compliance by all Member States with the arms embargo imposed under resolution 1970 (2011), as modified by subsequent resolutions.
The Secretary-General is requested to report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution every 30 days up until 31 July.
After the adoption, most Council members welcomed the incorporation of the strategic review’s recommendations into the mandate, noting that in doing so, the organ provides a strong response to the political crisis in Libya, which, once again, faces the dangers of destabilization and parallel institutions. Many said they would have preferred a longer-term renewal of the UNSMIL mandate to give the Mission stability and predictability.
Lana Zaki Nusseibeh (United Arab Emirates), welcoming the adoption of the resolution, looked forward to the Mission continuing to implement its mandate effectively in light of the Council’s endorsement of the recommendations of the strategic review, including a return to its previous configuration.
Geraldine Byrne Nason (Ireland) pointed out that, owing to the objection of one Council member, consensus was not achieved on a substantive one-year mandate renewal. Instead, members have unfortunately defaulted to another short, three‑month renewal. In addition, there are many crucial elements absent from this text, including on human rights, the role of women and the humanitarian situation.
Ferit Hoxha (Albania) expressed hope that upcoming May talks in Cairo will positively advance the aspirations of the Libyan people to hold elections. Stressing his country’s preference for a substantive renewal of the Mission’s mandate, he said that one Council member imposed a technical rollover. All members should engage constructively on providing the Mission with predictable funding and resources, along with a robust mandate, in the future.
Ronaldo Costa Filho (Brazil) also expressed regret that there was no consensus among members to approve a longer-term mandate for UNSMIL, stressing that the Mission would benefit from a one-year term, which would ensure greater predictability and facilitate the selection of the Special Representative.
Juan Gómez Robledo Verduzco (Mexico) emphasized that a three-month extension is insufficient in light of present circumstances. Further, the resolution could have included language pertaining to important aspects of stabilization, such as fighting the illicit flow of weapons, coordinating with countries in the region and the process of national reconciliation.
Trine Skarboevik Heimerback (Norway) said that, despite the good‑faith efforts of 14 Council members, one member chose to block such an outcome. Her delegation has supported the earlier drafts which contained important language on issues like regional cooperation, national reconciliation and women’s participation in the political process. The Council’s failure to agree on a full, substantial mandate not only sends an unfortunate signal to the Libyan people, but also to the whole region.
Michel Xavier Biang (Gabon) pointed to the difficulty Council members are facing in overcoming differences, voicing regret over a repeated technical rollover of the Mission’s mandate due to a lack of consensus. Libya is at risk of having parallel Governments, and future elections might be impacted by the Council’s division. The international community should give the Mission more robust mandate, he said, requesting that the Special Representative should be an African.
Vassily A. Nebenzia (Russian Federation) said his delegation insisted on the urgent need to select a new leader for the Mission. To speed up this process, Moscow consistently advocated the three-month extension. UNSMIL, due to the absence of a Special Representative, failed to fully accompany the political process in Libya for more than six months. Expressing regret that some Council members are not open to accept a scenario in which UNSMIL is headed by a representative from Africa, he described such attitude as a display of neo‑colonialism. In 2011, it was the African Union that advocated a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis. Western countries side-lined the Africans and started to destroy Libyan statehood, he said, adding that the consequences are felt to this day.
Solomon Korbieh (Ghana) said the text did not reflect issues relating to reconciliation, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, or a substantive renewal of UNSMIL’s mandate. During negotiations, Ghana, Gabon and Kenya called for such substantive renewal to afford the Mission predictability and proper planning to meet the myriad challenges confronting the Libyan people. Reconciliation would provide the people with the opportunity to heal wounds and forge ahead united towards Libya’s peaceful development.
Michael Kapkiai Kiboino (Kenya) expressed regret that, after three technical rollovers, the Council once again failed to agree on a sufficiently substantive mandate, ending up with a fourth technical rollover. UNSMIL’s mandate is in service of Libya’s people, and it is unfortunate that the Council was unable to structure United Nations support to meet this responsibility. Successful conflict‑resolution requires prioritization and sequencing of activities within a broader peace framework.
Xing Jisheng (China) said UNSMIL’s mediation role is more important than ever, also noting that the resolution shortened the reporting requirement for the Secretary-General to one month to keep Council members updated on the situation in Libya. He expressed support for appointing a Special Representative from Africa.
Sheraz Gasri (France) said an effective political mission with a clear reporting line to the Council is more necessary than ever to enable Libya to overcome the many challenges it faces today. After the postponement of the presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2021, there is an urgent need to put Libya back on track, she said, stressing that the United Nations must accompany this process.
Jeffrey DeLaurentis (United States) said a stripped-down resolution that does not provide guidance on several essential issues sends the wrong message to the Libyan people and “risks allowing spoilers to cling to the status quo”. It is disappointing that the Russian Federation demanded the removal of several of the resolution’s elements that would have provided UNSMIL with the guidance and resources it needs on critical issues, such as reconciliation and security sector reform.
Barbara Woodward (United Kingdom), Council President for April, spoke in her national capacity, stressing the resolution reaffirms the Council’s commitment to United Nations efforts to help create a path towards free, fair and inclusive presidential and parliamentary elections. The United Kingdom made significant efforts to achieve consensus on a mandate for a longer period, but the Russian Federation again isolated itself and blocked it. She called on that country to meet its responsibilities as a Council member and join consensus with the rest of the organ on a substantive mandate for UNSMIL.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:35 a.m.