Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2362 (2017), Security Council Extends Mandate of Expert Panel on Libya, Sanctions Related to Illicit Petroleum Exports

Attacks against United Nations Personnel Now Included in Criteria for Ongoing Travel Ban, Freezing of Assets

The Security Council today decided to extend until 15 November 2018 the mandate of its Panel of Experts on Libya — as well as sanctions related to the illicit export of petroleum — while adding “attacks against United Nations personnel” to the criteria for the ongoing travel bans and freezing of assets affecting individuals and entities in the conflict-wracked North African nation.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2362 (2017), the Council reaffirmed the travel ban and assets freeze first laid out in resolution 1970 (2011) (see Press Release SC/101/87/Rev.1 of 26 February 2011), applicable to those deemed as engaging in or supporting acts that threatened Libya’s peace, stability or security or which obstructed or undermined its successful political transition.  The current text included for the first time the planning, directing, sponsoring or participation in attacks against United Nations personnel, including members of the Panel of Experts itself.

Condemning attempts to illicitly export petroleum from Libya, including crude oil and — also for the first time — refined petroleum products, the Council further extended until 15 November 2018 the oil-related sanctions laid out in resolution 2146 (2014) (see Press Release SC/11325 of 19 March 2014).  In addition, it decided that the authorizations and measures imposed by that text would apply to vessels loading, transporting or discharging petroleum, including both crude oil and refined petroleum products, illicitly exported or attempted to be exported from Libya.

By other terms of the resolution, the Council requested that Libya’s Government of National Accord confirm to the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) as soon as it exercised “sole and effective oversight” over the country’s National Oil Corporation, the Central Bank of Libya and the Libyan Investment Authority.  Emphasizing the importance of Government control over and safe storage of arms, with the support of the international community, it further urged the Government to improve its monitoring and control over arms and related materials sold or transferred to Libya in accordance with relevant Council resolutions.

Ihab Moustafa Awad Moustafa (Egypt) stressed that all decisions related to the enforcement of the illicit oil exports ban should be based on solid information, warning against any “circumvention” in that regard.  Noting that his delegation expected a response to the additional inquiries that might be submitted by the Sanctions Committee, he expressed Egypt’s willingness to work with the newly appointed Special Envoy and underlined the need to spare no effort to convene the committee made up of members of Libya’s Parliament.  Indeed, the Parliament was still the only body mandated to endorse any amendments to the Agreement and was also in charge of adopting any new configuration of the Government of National Accord.  It was critical to lift the embargo imposed on the supply of arms to the National Army, he said, pointing out that it was the only body currently mandated with counter-terrorism functions.

Peter Wilson (United Kingdom) welcomed the resolution’s unanimous adoption, in particular its elements related to bans on petroleum products, the smuggling of which had been estimated at around $370 million annually.  Emphasizing that Libya’s resources must be protected for the sake of its people, he said that while sanctions remained an important tool to support the Government and stabilize Libya, “they can only be one part” of the solution.  Expressing support for the Government of National Unity, he encouraged the Council to take a supportive approach to arms embargo exemption requests aimed at helping to stabilize the country.  The Council must also be ready to take swift action against spoilers, including parallel institutions, he stressed, condemning those responsible for an attack against a United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) convoy yesterday.

Elmahdi S. Elmajerbi (Libya), while welcoming certain paragraphs of resolution 2362 (2017), nevertheless expressed disappointment that the text had completely ignored the fact that the amendments of the sanctions regime was causing many significant financial losses.  Drawing particular attention to the asset freeze imposed on the Libyan Investment Institution — which had caused significant losses amounting to more than $1 billion annually and was totally unjustified — he said that foreign financial institutions were in some cases being enriched at the expense of the Libyan people.  There was a risk of causing the attrition of all Libyan financial institutions, he warned, recalling that all of Libya’s formal notifications to the Council about that potential “catastrophe” had fallen on deaf ears.  Indeed, despite such warnings, resolution 2278 (2016) had nevertheless been issued without any consideration of the necessary amendments.

The Panel of Experts had addressed the issue in a report last year (document S/2016/209), he said.  That report had clearly noted that the Council’s objective was not to restrict investments, but had called for such funds to be exempted from the embargo, recommending instead the reinvestment of those frozen assets in consultation with the Libyan Government.  Notwithstanding that “very clear recommendation”, the Council had failed to take the necessary action.  The new text even seemed to be circumventing those fair requests.  No Council member had requested extra time in order to consider the letters provided by the Libyan Government, he said, stressing that “what is happening runs totally counter to the primary objective for which the assets freeze was imposed.”  He emphasized the Council’s “ethical, legal and professional obligation” to put an end to the significant losses of the Libyan people’s wealth, and called for the issuance of a new resolution to that end.

The meeting began at 3:04 and ended at 3:25.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2362 (2017) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling the arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze and measures concerning illicit oil exports which were imposed and modified by resolutions 1970 (2011), 1973 (2011), 2009 (2011), 2040 (2012), 2095 (2013), 2144 (2014), 2146 (2014), 2174 (2014), 2213 (2015), 2278 (2016), 2292 (2016), and 2357 (2017) (the Measures), and that the mandate of the Panel of Experts established by paragraph 24 of resolution 1973 (2011) and modified by resolutions 2040 (2012), 2146 (2014), 2174 (2014), and 2213 (2015) was extended until 31 July 2017 by resolution 2278 (2016),

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya,

Recalling resolution 2259 (2015) which welcomed the signing of the 17 December 2015 Libyan Political Agreement of Skhirat, Morocco and endorsed the Rome Communiqué of 13 December 2015 to support the Government of National Accord as the sole legitimate government of Libya, that should be based in Tripoli, and further expressing its determination in this regard to support the Government of National Accord,

Welcoming the meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue on 10 March 2016, which reaffirmed its commitment to uphold the Libyan Political Agreement further welcoming recent efforts to strengthen dialogue between Libyans, supported by Libya’s neighbours and regional organizations, noting the importance of the United Nations-facilitated, Libyan-led process to advance inclusive political dialogue,

Underlining the primary responsibility of the Government of National Accord in taking appropriate action to prevent the illicit export of petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, from Libya and reaffirming the importance of international support for Libyan sovereignty over its territory and resources,

Expressing its concern that the illicit export of petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, from Libya undermines the Government of National Accord and poses a threat to the peace, security and stability of Libya,

Expressing support for Libyan efforts to resolve peacefully the disruptions of Libya’s energy exports and reiterating that control of all facilities should be transferred back to the proper authorities,

Further reiterating its concern about activities which could damage the integrity and unity of Libyan State financial institutions and the National Oil Corporation, highlighting the importance of these institutions continuing to function for the benefit of all Libyans, and stressing the need for the Government of National Accord to exercise sole and effective oversight over the National Oil Corporation, the Central Bank of Libya, and the Libyan Investment Authority as a matter of urgency, without prejudice to future constitutional arrangements pursuant to the Libyan Political Agreement,

Further recalling resolution 2259 (2015) which called on Member States to cease support to and official contact with parallel institutions claiming to be the legitimate authority, but which were outside the Libyan Political Agreement, as specified by it,

Recalling that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982, sets out the legal framework applicable to activities in the oceans and seas,

Further recalling resolution 2292 (2016) and resolution 2357 (2017) which in relation to the implementation of the arms embargo authorise, for the period of time specified by those resolutions, the inspection on the high seas off the coast of Libya of vessels bound to or from Libya believed to be carrying arms or related materiel in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, and the seizure and disposal of such items provided that Member States make good faith efforts to first obtain the consent of the vessel’s flag State prior to any inspections while acting in accordance with those resolutions,

Reaffirming the importance of holding accountable those responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law, including those involved in attacks targeting civilians and stressing the need to transfer detainees to State authority,

Reiterating its expression of support for the Government of National Accord, as stated in paragraph 3 of resolution 2259 (2015), and noting in this regard the specific requests made to the Government of National Accord in this resolution,

Reiterating its request that all Member States fully support the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and work with the Libyan authorities and United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to develop a coordinated package of support to build the capacity of the Government of National Accord, in line with Libyan priorities and in response to requests for assistance,

Determining that the situation in Libya continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

Prevention of Illicit Exports of Petroleum, including Crude Oil and Refined Petroleum Products

“1.   Condemns attempts to illicitly export petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, from Libya, including by parallel institutions which are not acting under the authority of the Government of National Accord;

“2.   Decides to extend until 15 November 2018 the authorizations provided by and the measures imposed by resolution 2146 (2014), and decides further that the authorisations provided by and the measures imposed by that resolution shall apply with respect to vessels loading, transporting, or discharging petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, illicitly exported or attempted to be exported from Libya;

“3.   Welcomes the appointment by the Government of National Accord and notification to the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) (the Committee) of a focal point responsible for communication with the Committee with respect to the measures in resolution 2146 (2014), requests the focal point to continue to inform the Committee of any vessels transporting petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, illicitly exported from Libya, and urges the Government of National Accord to provide regular updates to inform the Committee on ports, oil fields, and installations that are under its control, and to inform the Committee about the mechanism used to certify legal exports of petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products;

“4.   Calls on the Government of National Accord, on the basis of any information regarding such exports or attempted exports, to expeditiously contact the concerned vessel’s flag State, in the first instance, to resolve the issue and directs the Committee to immediately inform all relevant Member States about notifications to the Committee from the Government of National Accord’s focal point regarding vessels transporting petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, illicitly exported from Libya;

Effective Oversight of the Financial Institutions

“5.   Requests that the Government of National Accord confirm to the Committee as soon as it exercises sole and effective oversight over the National Oil Corporation, the Central Bank of Libya, and the Libyan Investment Authority;

Arms Embargo

“6.   Welcomes the appointment by the Government of National Accord of a focal point pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 2278, takes note of the briefing provided by the focal point to the Committee on the structure of the security forces under its control, the infrastructure in place to ensure the safe storage, registration, maintenance and distribution of military equipment by the Government security forces, and training needs, continues to emphasise the importance of the Government of National Accord exercising control over and safely storing arms, with the support of the international community, and stresses that ensuring security and defending Libya from terrorism must be the task of unified and strengthened national security forces under the sole authority of the Government of National Accord within the framework of the Libyan Political Agreement;

“7.   Affirms that the Government of National Accord may submit requests under paragraph 8 of resolution 2174 (2014) for the supply, sale or transfer of arms and related materiel, including related ammunition and spare parts, for the use by security forces under its control to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar
Al Sharia, and other groups associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, calls upon the Committee to consider expeditiously such requests, and affirms the Security Council’s readiness to consider reviewing the arms embargo, when appropriate;

“8.   Urges Member States to assist the Government of National Accord, upon its request, by providing it with the necessary security and capacity-building assistance, in response to threats to Libyan security and in defeating ISIL, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Sharia, and other groups associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya;

“9.   Urges the Government of National Accord to improve further the monitoring and control of arms or related materiel that are supplied, sold or transferred to Libya in accordance with paragraph 9 (c) of resolution 1970 (2011) or paragraph 8 of resolution 2174 (2014), including through the use of end user certificates issued by the Government of National Accord, requests the Panel of Experts established by paragraph 24 of resolution 1973 (2011) to consult with the Government of National Accord about the safeguards needed to safely procure and secure arms and related materiel, and urges Member States and regional organizations to provide assistance to the Government of National Accord upon its request to strengthen the infrastructure and mechanisms currently in place to do so;

“10.  Calls upon the Government of National Accord to improve the implementation of the arms embargo, including at all entry points, as soon as it exercises oversight, and calls upon all Member States to cooperate in such efforts;

Travel Ban and Asset Freeze

“11.  Reaffirms that the travel ban and asset freeze measures specified in paragraphs 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011), as modified by paragraphs 14, 15 and 16 of resolution 2009 (2011) and paragraph 11 of resolution 2213 (2015), apply to individuals and entities designated under that resolution and under resolution 1973 (2011) and by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011), and reaffirms that these measures also apply to individuals and entities determined by the Committee to be engaging in or providing support for other acts that threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya, or obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition, and decides that, in addition to the acts listed in paragraph 11 (a)-(f) of resolution 2213 (2015), such acts may also include but are not limited to planning, directing, sponsoring, or participating in attacks against United Nations personnel, including members of the Panel of Experts established by paragraph 24 of resolution 1973 (2011) and modified by resolutions 2040 (2012), 2146 (2014), 2174 (2014), 2213 (2015) and this resolution (the Panel);

“12.  Reaffirms its intention to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall at a later stage be made available to and for the benefit of the Libyan people and taking note of the letter circulated as document S/2016/275, affirms the Security Council’s readiness to consider changes, when appropriate, to the asset freeze at the request of the Government of National Accord;

Panel of Experts

“13.  Decides to extend until 15 November 2018 the mandate of the Panel of Experts (the Panel), established by paragraph 24 of resolution 1973 (2011) and modified by resolutions 2040 (2012), 2146 (2014), 2174 (2014), and 2213 (2015) and decides that the Panel’s mandated tasks shall remain as defined in resolution 2213 (2015) and shall also apply with respect to the Measures updated in this resolution;

“14.  Decides that the Panel shall provide to the Council an interim report on its work no later than 28 February 2018, and a final report to the Council, after discussion with the Committee, no later than 15 September 2018 with its findings and recommendations;

“15.  Urges all States, relevant United Nations bodies, including UNSMIL, and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on the implementation of the Measures decided in resolutions 1970 (2011), 1973 (2011), 2146 (2014) and 2174 (2014), and modified in resolutions 2009 (2011), 2040 (2012), 2095 (2013), 2144 (2014), 2213 (2015), 2278 (2016), 2292 (2016), 2357 (2017) and in this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance, and calls on UNSMIL and the Government of National Accord to support Panel investigatory work inside Libya, including by sharing information, facilitating transit and granting access to weapons storage facilities, as appropriate;

“16.  Calls upon all parties and all States to ensure the safety of the Panel’s members, and further calls upon all parties and all States, including Libya and countries of the region, to provide unhindered and immediate access, in particular to persons, documents and sites the Panel deems relevant to the execution of its mandate;

“17.  Affirms its readiness to review the appropriateness of the Measures contained in this resolution, including the strengthening, modification, suspension or lifting of the Measures, and its readiness to review the mandate of UNSMIL and the Panel, as may be needed at any time in light of developments in Libya;

“18.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

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