Explanation of Vote on the Mandate Renewal of the UN Support Mission in Libya

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
September 30, 2021


Thank you, Madam President.

Today’s vote is an unfortunate outcome, especially for the Libyan people. It is also an unfortunate outcome for the Security Council. Today we have failed to implement the recommendations from the Secretary-General’s Independent Strategic Review at a crucial time. The Independent Strategic Review was clear – that the Head of Mission should be relocated to Tripoli, in order to increase engagement with Libyan actors. Considering the critical importance of UN support for December national elections, the recommendation from the review should be implemented now, not months down the road.

The report’s recommendations on UNSMIL’s leadership structure reflected the Libyan conviction that locating the Head of Mission in Libya is essential to the mission. This was based, in part, on Libyans who shared their belief that the Special Envoy’s location in Geneva was a hindrance to the Envoy’s ability to engage with Libyan actors in a meaningful and regular manner. It is incumbent upon us to act with the urgency that the Libyan people deserve. Failure to restructure UNSMIL now only serves to undermine our collective efforts to stabilize Libya. We must ask ourselves today, how can we move forward in a manner that places the UN and the people of Libya in a position to build on previous diplomatic achievements?

This outcome in the Council will not deter the United States from its firm support for the Libyan people as they move forward with national elections on December 24. Critical efforts are ongoing to develop the constitutional and legal framework for those elections. The United States is fully supportive of these Libyan preparations. It is vital that UN Member States undertake all possible efforts to advance a political solution to the conflict in Libya, including through supporting free and fair elections on December 24, and withdrawing all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libyan territory without delay.

After 10 years of turmoil, the Libyan people are still striving for democracy and stability. We call on all members of this Council to work together expeditiously over the next few months to adopt a mandate that will offer the best approach to resolve stalemates and encourage political progress. The people of Libya deserve nothing less.

Thank you, Madam President