Explanation of Vote on the Mandate Renewal of UNSMIL

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
September 15, 2021


Thank you, Mr. President.

UNSMIL has a vitally important role in helping Libya achieve peace and stability, including by supporting preparations for national elections and the implementation of the ceasefire. In Resolution 2542, the Security Council requested that the Secretary-General conduct an independent strategic review of UNSMIL, including an assessment of UNSMIL’s overall mission structure and recommendations for improving its efficiency. The Independent Strategic Review concluded that the situation on the ground in Libya has changed since the UNSMIL mandate was last renewed. The October 2020 Ceasefire Agreement created an opportunity for UNSMIL to engage directly with stakeholders, on the ground in Libya, to move the process forward.

In its report delivered to the Security Council, the Independent Strategic Review team recommended that the Head of Mission be relocated to Tripoli, as a matter of priority, in order to increase engagement with Libyan actors, which is critical at this juncture in the political process. Endorsement of this recommendation by the Council neither prejudges when the mission’s leadership will be restructured, nor whom will be selected as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, matters that are rightly at the discretion of the Secretary-General.

The United States is committed to achieving a mandate that puts UNSMIL in the best position to advance preparations for elections on November 24* and support the implementation of the ceasefire. After constructive and positive consultations this month, thanks to the direction and facilitation of the UK, we were disappointed by the inability to reach consensus to adopt a new mandate for UNSMIL today, especially at this important time for Libya. We therefore call on all members of the Council to work together expeditiously to adopt a mandate that implements the recommendations of the independent review so UNSMIL can intensify its efforts. We cannot fail the Libyan people at this critical moment.

Thank you, Mr. President.


*December 24