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Libya: Security Council extends mandate of UN support mission

2 December 2011 – The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations mission in Libya until the middle of March next year, and expanded its tasks to include assisting the North African country’s transitional Government in its efforts to address the threat of arms proliferation.

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) was established by the Council in September for an initiative period of three months. In today’s unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body extended the mandate until 16 March 2012.

The mission’s initial mandate was to support the National Transitional Council (NTC) in its reconstruction efforts after the end of the conflict, including restoring the rule of law, drafting a new constitution, promoting reconciliation and preparing for elections.

The Council decided in today’s resolution that “the mandate of UNSMIL shall in addition include, in coordination and consultation with the transitional Government of Libya, assisting and supporting Libyan national efforts to address the threats of proliferation of all arms and related materiel of all types, in particular man-portable surface-to-air missiles.”

The Council had in another resolution on 31 October called on interim authorities to take action to prevent the proliferation of arms, missiles and related materiel, saying they posed a security threat to the country and the region

The NTC declared the full liberation of Libya on 23 October, eight months after the start of the popular uprising against the regime of long-time ruler Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi, who was eventually captured and killed. It has since formed an interim Government headed by Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib.

Earlier this week, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNSMIL, Ian Martin, told the Council that the interim Government faces a number of challenges, the most immediate of which is consolidating security.

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