The UN Security Council is set to hold a consultation session on Libya on Tuesday, 19 April , according to the Political and Peacebuilding Department Affairs.
In a statement, the department said that the council will also hold a session on 30 April to vote on a draft resolution to extend the United Nations (UN) political mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
However, Russia’s Deputy Ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky has stressed the need to appoint a new UN Envoy “as soon as possible.”
In March, the UN Security Council extended the UNSMIL mandate until the end of April. This came after days of contention on a range of issues — from the language about future elections, to the length of the extension.
The renewal, which should have been a formality, followed a deadlock between Russia and the US. Moscow has demanded that a Special Envoy to Libya be appointed by the Secretary-General, to replace current Special Adviser, Stephanie Williams.
The UK, the penholder on Libya, had authored a resolution to extend UNSMIL’s mandate for one year. It also urged Libyans to hold national elections, and called for the withdrawal of foreign mercenaries from the country. Russia had intended to veto the text, before proposing its own resolution.
The Russian text, as reported by AFP, stipulated a shorter extension, until 30 April, when, according to Moscow, the political situation in Libya would become clearer. It also called for the appointment of an envoy “without further delay.”
The UN Security Council recently split over whether to reconfigure UNSMIL’s leadership. Several member states have demanded that the Special Envoy’s post be transferred from Geneva to Tripoli.
Since the sudden resignation of former Special Envoy, Jan Kubis in November, Williams has served as Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Libya. It was believed that Williams, who is the former acting special representative and acting Head of UNSMIL, would serve in the position. Russia has opposed the move.
Instead, Guterres named her as his Special Adviser for Libya, a position that does not require approval.