Security Council’s 7194th meting on the situation in Libya, (S/PV.7194)took place on 9 June 2014
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.
The briefing addressed the political crisis in Libya, with mutual distrust among the main political actors and the appointment of a new Prime
Minister accentuating strong political polarization; a volatile security environment, with moves by retired general Khalifa Haftar to mobilize
some of the Libyan national army and other tribally affiliated armed groups against other groups he has deemed to be terrorists, as well as
with continuing tensions between rival brigades and other armed groups; the security situation impeding the proper functioning of the justice
system, including via the several instances where UNSMIL staff were detained by Libyan authorities; and showcasing little progress in security
sector reform and virtually no progress on disarmament and reintegration. The representative of Libya further noted that Libyan officers and
soldiers have not been receiving their salaries, and that the new Parliament and government must immediately reorganize the army and
provide it with proper arms. However, the SRSG did note some progress with regards to constitutional reform, with the General National
Congress convening the first session of the Constitution Drafting Assembly. The High National Election Commission of Libya is now preparing
the election of the 200-member council of representatives that will succeed the General National Congress.
The SRSG made several mentions of women, peace and security concerns, including a reference to UNSMIL’s launch of a dialogue initiative
with several women’s organizations to engage with the media and religious, political and societal actors in a public debate on constitutional
issues of particular significance to women. He also acknowledged that 152 women (out of 1,714 candidates) have registered to contest 32
reserved seats in the 200-member council of representatives, and noted his plan to engage 50 representatives – including women – in a
political dialogue conference to address the current crisis.
Although the current briefing brought greater attention to women, peace and security concerns than the previous briefing, S/PV.7130, the
women, peace and security references were still rather limited, therefore there were missed opportunities to stress the promotion and
protection of women’s rights within Libya, including the need for women’s participation in the national dialogue and other efforts to resolve
the political stalemate (although the SRSG did acknowledge women as one of the key groups he plans to meet with about the crisis in Libya),
as well as for an emphasis on women’s protection, especially given the deteriorating security situation and proliferation of illicit arms.
Limited attention was given to the recommendations from the most recent MAP on the situation in Libya (March 2014). Women’s
participation was referenced in the context of the 152 female candidates vying for the 32 reserved seats in the 200-member council of
representatives, as well as in the dialogue initiative with women’s organizations to engage the media and religious, political and societal
actors in a public debate on constitutional issues of particular significance to women. The SRSG also noted his plan to consult with women as
one of several key actors in a political dialogue conference. Beyond these brief references to women’s participation broadly, the briefing
overlooked the need for women’s active participation in other aspects of the political process, national dialogue and reconstruction efforts.
And despite the tenuous security situation, there was no consideration given to women’s protection needs, nor to their roles in SSR and DDR
processes. Finally, there was mention of the continuing ill-treatment of detainees, but more emphasis was placed on the several UNSMIL staff
members who were briefly detained than the prolonged detention of the more than 6,200 inmates in facilities under the authority of the
judicial police, and with no specific reference to sexual and gender-based violence.
The previous briefing on the situation in Libya, S/PV.7130, had only one reference to women peace and security concerns, noting that 54
women competed for the six reserved seats in the Constitution Drafting Assembly. The current briefing made a similar reference, noting that
152 women registered to contest 32 reserved seats in the 20-member council of representatives. Yet the current briefing also highlighted a
dialogue initiative aimed at engaging key actors in a public debate on constitutional issues with particular significance to women, and the
SRSG acknowledged that he planned to consult with major actors, including women, on how to move the country forward.