Explanation of Vote on the Mandate Renewal of UNSMIL

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
April 29, 2022


Thank you, Madam President.

The United States is disappointed that negotiations have again failed to achieve the adoption of a substantive, year-long mandate that authorizes UNSMIL to continue its work in Libya with the foundation it needs to be successful. UNSMIL is an essential partner in Libya, particularly at this critical moment when UN-facilitated dialogue has begun to bring the political process back on track. 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 or worse.

We are particularly disappointed that the Russian delegation demanded the removal of several elements from this resolution that would have provided UNSMIL the guidance and resources it needs on critical issues like reconciliation and security sector reform. Russia’s insistence on a mandate which only lasts three months, purportedly to facilitate the appointment of the SRSG, will have the opposite effect. A short mandate duration severely complicates the UN’s ability to recruit a Head of Mission. It also creates uncertainty for the Libyan people and their leaders over the Security Council’s commitment to Libya. Finally, revisiting the mandate every few months stalls progress on UNSMIL’s long-term plans to develop sustainable solutions to the challenges in Libya.

Let there be no mistake, this Council as a whole did not fail the Libyan people today. Fourteen Council members were supportive of a one-year, substantive mandate that strengthens UNSMIL’s ability to move Libya toward stability and an inclusive peace.

I want to thank the United Kingdom for its role as the penholder and all Council members who negotiated in good faith, especially our A3 colleagues who pushed for critical language on reconciliation and security sector reform to no avail. It is incumbent upon this Council to ensure that we incorporate the views of all Council members moving forward and not allow one member to hold the mandate hostage.

The United States will continue its full support of UN efforts to establish a Libyan-led path to free and fair elections as soon as possible. This includes providing our full support for the initiative of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser to Libya, Stephanie Williams, to broker an agreement on the constitutional framework for elections. We call on the delegations from the House of Representatives and High State Council to work constructively toward this goal.

Thank you, Madam President.