9173rd Meeting (AM)

Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2656 (2022), Security Council Extends Mandate of Support Mission in Libya, Welcomes Newly Appointed Special Representative

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for twelve months — until 31 October 2023 — as members welcomed the appointment of Abdoulaye Bathily as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of UNSMIL, who officially assumed his duties on 25 September.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2656 (2022) (to be issued as document S/RES/2656), the Council urged all Libyan parties and key stakeholders to engage constructively and fully with the Special Representative in fulfilment of his mandate.

Through the text, the Council reiterated its request for UNSMIL to implement the recommendations of the Independent Strategic Review (document S/2021/716), including by strengthening the use of strategic communications to support the Mission’s activities.

It further reiterated its request that, in the implementation of the recommendations of the Strategic Review, UNSMIL explore all avenues to increase efficiency and redeploy existing resources, including through prioritization and the reconfiguration of tasks and resources, as needed and where appropriate.  Additionally, the Council requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of the resolution every 60 days.

Following the vote, Michel Xavier Biang (Gabon), Council President for October, speaking in his national capacity, said the significant renewal of UNSMIL’s mandate after several short-term extensions is an important milestone towards stabilization of a major African State.  Achieving consensus on the Libyan issue was essential to consolidate hard-won gains and address outstanding issues, including the reconciliation process, organization of legislative and presidential elections, uniting the two Administrations, and the regional impact of the Libyan crisis, particularly in the Sahel.

Catherine Nyaboke Nyakoe (Kenya), noting the Council's unity of purpose, said the resolution responds to UNSMIL’s need for a substantive one-year mandate and provides the stability and predictability for the Special Representative to lead the Mission and steer international support to the peace process with greater certainty.  The Libya peace process is made more complex by competing external interests, which undermine the peace and security the country, she pointed out, urging that all international support be channelled through that United Nations-led process.

Solomon Korbieh (Ghana) expressed confidence that, with the Council’s unity in support of the Mission, UNSMIL can deliver on its mandate. He called on Council members to enable the Special Representative to successfully carry out his mandate.  He further called on all political actors in Libya to cooperate towards finding lasting peace with a democratic dispensation and encouraged the authorities to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections within the mandate cycle.

João Genésio de Almeida Filho (Brazil), on that point, underscored that an enabling environment for civic participation is paramount in preparation for nationwide elections and in the context of national reconciliation, highlighting the importance of communicating the Mission’s vision.  He expressed concern, however, that some delegations’ concerns were dismissed in the negotiations process, thus limiting the ability of elected members to contribute to the text and to respond to evolving situations.  Nonetheless, he said his country voted in favour of the resolution to permit the Mission’s newly appointed leadership to implement the recommendations of the Independent Strategic Review.

The meeting began at 10:04 a.m. and ended at 10:18 a.m.

For information media. Not an official record.