Libya: Security Council Extends UN Libya Mission Through 2015

The Security Council today extended for another year the United Nations mission assisting Libya, as preparations in the North African country turn to upcoming parliamentary elections due to be held in June.

In the resolution adopted today, the 15-member Council wrote that as an immediate priority, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) would ensure the success of the democratic transition process in the country, which has been under way since the toppling of Muammar al-Qadhafi three years ago.

This includes promoting, facilitating and providing technical advice, as well as assisting a single, inclusive and transparent national dialogue, and the drafting of a new constitution.

The Council "reiterates the need for the transition period to be underpinned by a commitment to democratic processes and institutions," the members wrote, specifying good governance, rule of law, national reconciliation and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Further to the text, the Council mandates UNSMIL, "as an immediate priority" to support the Government to ensure the transition to democracy, including by assisting a single, inclusive and transparent national dialogue, to Libyan electoral processes and to the process of preparing, drafting and adopting a new constitution.

Briefing the Council last week, Tarik Mitri, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNSMIL, described a recent polarization in the country, a dramatic increase in violence, including attacks on the media, as well as difficulties in strengthening the security sector.

The Council also extended until 13 April 2015 the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee.

Hearing last week from the panel's head, Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana of Rwanda, the Council noted that the proliferation of weapons to and from Libya remained a major challenge for the stability of the country and the region.

The panel had noted that the control of non-State armed actors over the majority of stockpiles in Libya, as well as ineffective border control systems remained primary obstacles to countering proliferation and that Libya had become a primary source of illicit weapons. Also, trafficking from Libya was fuelling conflict and insecurity, including terrorism, on several continents, which was unlikely to change in the near future.

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