Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia after UNSC vote on a draft resolution on renewal of the mandate of UNSMIL


Russia supported UK-proposed draft resolution on renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). However we have numerous questions as to the work of UNSMIL, which we raised actively when negotiating the draft.

We are convinced that preserving the current pattern of UN mediation efforts in Libya is unacceptable in this crucial moment of Libyan history.

Therefore, we insisted that the resolution should send a clear and unambiguous signal about the need to make an urgent decision and look for a new Head of the UN team in that country. We count on the Secretary-General to fulfil this critical task and appoint a new Special Representative. In order to expedite the process, we advocated for only a three-month mandate rollover, because in the absence of a Special Representative, UNSMIL has been unable to provide substantial support for the political process in Libya for more than 6 months. If we see that the appointment process lingers again due to someone’s momentary interests, we will have to make rather grave conclusions regarding the future of UNSMIL.

Normal organization of UN work at the Libyan track is essential not only for us, but for Libya itself in the first place. We must never forget about the high standards of UN activity, first of all impartiality, that some our colleagues, unfortunately, are not interested in.

We regret that some UNSC members are not ready to accept a scenario where UNSMIL is guided by an African representative. Not only is this a non-constructive approach, but actually a manifestation of neo-colonialism.

We must not forget that back in 2011, it was African Union that stood for a peaceful resolution of the Libyan crisis. However Western states sidetracked Africans and embarked on ruining Libyan statehood, the implications of which are clearly seen until this day.

Thank you.