Security Council’s 7130th meeting on the situation in Libya (S/PV.7130)took place on 10 March 2014.
This briefing by Mr. Tarek Mitri, SRSG and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), and Mr. Eugène-Richard Gasana,
Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011), with follow-up remarks from the representative of
Libya. Mr. Mitri introduced the recent report of the Secretary-General, S/2014/131, and touched upon the dramatic increase in violence
across the country; the illegal loading of Libyan oil onto a North Korea flagged vessel by armed groups; increased frustration with the
political process; strong polarization with unsuccessful efforts to end the political stalemate; increased attacks on journalists and media
institutions; reports of continued torture and ill-treatment of detainees; and continued disagreement on security sector reform. One positive
development was the holding of elections for the Constitution Drafting Assembly. Mr. Gasana introduced the final report of the Panel of
Experts under resolution 2095 (2013), S/2014/106, and summarized several of its findings. Regarding the arms embargo, he noted that the
proliferation of weapons to and from Libya remained a major challenge to Libya and the region, and concerning the asset freeze, he cited
further instances of Member States lacking the legislative capacity to implement the asset-freeze measure.
There was one reference to women, peace and security content in the briefing, with SRSG Mitri sharing that 54 women competed for the six
reserved seats in the Constitution Drafting Assembly.
With only one mention of women, peace and security in the briefing, there were many missed opportunities to stress the promotion and
protection of women’s rights in Libya, including the need for women’s participation in the national dialogue and other efforts to resolve the
political stalemate, as well as for an emphasis on women’s protection, especially given the deteriorating security situation and proliferation
of illicit arms.
Little attention was given to the recommendations from the most recent MAP on the situation in Libya (March 2014). The reference to female
candidates for the six reserved seats in the Constitution Drafting Assembly was the only mention of women’s participation, thereby
overlooking the need for women’s active participation in other aspects of the political process, national dialogue and reconstruction efforts.
Despite the tenuous security situation, there was no consideration given to women’s protection needs, nor their roles in SSR and DDR
processes. Finally, there was a broad reference to the continuing ill-treatment of detainees, but no specific reference to sexual and
There was not a significant difference between the current briefing and its predecessor, S/PV.7075, on women, peace and security content.
However, the previous briefing did have a few references beyond the female candidates for the Constitution Drafting Assembly, including the
mention of a newly-established women’s network seeking to empower women and enhance their political participation, as well as the SRSG
having convened meetings with 40 leaders, including women, on the management of the democratic transition process.
The Security Council adopted resolution 2144 (2014) (S/RES/2144)on the situation in Libya on 14 March 2014.
Taking note of the recent report of the Secretary-General, S/2014/131, and the final report of the Panel of Experts submitted pursuant to
resolution 2095 (2013), S/2014/106, and coming on the heels of the briefing by the SRSG and the Chair of the Security Council Committee
established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011), S/PV.7130, the Security Council adopted resolution 2144 and renewed the mandate of the
United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
This Security Council resolution was very strong on women, peace and security, as it included several references in both the preambular and
operative clauses, and balanced an emphasis upon the need for greater women’s participation with simultaneous calls for women’s
protection. The preamble touched upon the seven women, peace and security thematic resolutions; the importance of promoting the equal
and full participation of women in all parts of Libyan society, including the political process; expressed grave concern regarding reports of
human rights violations and abuses, including torture and sexual and gender-based violence, specifically in detention centers; and highlighted
actions taken by the Libyan government to address human rights issues, including the establishment of transitional justice law, the law
against torture and discrimination, and the decree to redress the situation of victims of rape and violence. The operative clauses then called
for the promotion and protection of human rights, including those of women (para.2); called for those responsible for serious violations of
international humanitarian law and human rights law, including sexual violence, to be held accountable in line with international standards
(para.2); and noted that the United Nations mandate included promoting the empowerment and political participation of citizens in all parts
of Libyan society, in particular women, youth and minorities (para.6(a)); as well as promoting the rule of law and the protection of human
rights, particularly those of women, children and people belonging to vulnerable groups (para.6(b)).
Although this resolution brought a strong voice to the promotion and protection of women’s rights, there were still areas for improvement.
In particular, the references to women, peace and security in the resolution were markedly similar to the previous resolution, S/2013/2095.
On one hand, this may be seen as a sign of consistency and therefore of strength on women, peace and securiry; on the other hand, it may
also indicate a lack of progress. Given that the current resolution was adopted after both a weak report of the Secretary-General and a weak
briefing by the SRSG on women, peace and security concerns, S/2014/131 and S/PV.7130 respectively, the strength of the language
contained within the current resolution seemed effectively diluted. Therefore, one missed opportunity was for the Council to make clear to
the Secretary-General that there must be greater effort to give tangible meaning to the promotion and protection of women’s rights.
This resolution touched upon most of the recommendations put forward in the most recent MAP on the situation in Libya (March 2014),
including the importance of women’s full and equal participation in the political process; the recognition of women’s particular protection
needs, including the need for accountability with regards to sexual and gender-based violence; the calls for the human treatment of and due
process for detainees; and the Libyan government’s primary responsibility for promoting and protecting the human rights of all persons in
Libya, particularly those of African migrants and other foreign nationals.
The previous Security Council resolution on the situation in Libya, S/RES/2095 (2013), included many of the same references to women,
peace and security concerns. One difference was that the previous resolution included five areas of concentration, which were combined into
a reduced four areas in the current resolution. In so doing, the current resolution removed language related to the restoration of public
security and the need to “develop defense, police and security institutions that are capable, accountable, respectful of human rights,
accessible and responsive to women and vulnerable groups.”