Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Slovakia's Ján Kubiš takes over as head of the United Nations Mission of Support in Libya (UNMISL)

Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, January 19th 2021 à 17:05 | Read 266 times

Ján Kubiš becomes special envoy for Libya and head of Manul (photo Manul)
Ján Kubiš becomes special envoy for Libya and head of Manul (photo Manul)
LIBYA. António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, officially announced on Monday 18 January 2021, the appointment of Ján Kubiš as special envoy for Libya and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (Manul) which took place two days earlier. The sixty-eight-year-old Slovak replaces Stephanie Turco Williams who had been acting in this position since the resignation of Ghassan Salamé in February 2020.

A specialist in foreign security policy and international economic relations, Ján Kubiš had previously served as United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon since 2019. He also served as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq (2015 to 2018) and Afghanistan (2011 to 2015).

The diplomat was also Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) from 2009 to 2011 and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia (2006-2009).

His role will be to pacify Libya.

"The best possible compromise"

This appointment comes at a time when the Consultative Committee of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (18 members representing the different regions and political formations of the country) has just completed a new session in Geneva, from 13 to 16 January 2021. Stephanie Williams highlighted, on Saturday 16 January 2021, the work carried out "in an admirable manner (...) The members of the Advisory Committee really knew how to seize the opportunity and they assumed their responsibility with a constructive spirit, cooperative efforts and a lot of patriotism". The Acting Head of Manul also felt that the meeting had achieved "the best possible compromise".

According to António Guterres' spokesperson, "the Secretary General particularly welcomes the decisive role played by women representatives and members from the south of the country in forging a consensus on a recommended mechanism for the selection of the executive power, in accordance with the roadmap adopted in Tunis last November". The belligerents signed a national and permanent ceasefire agreement at the end of October 2020.

National elections are scheduled to take place in Libya on 24 December 2021 and the various parties must agree, under the aegis of the UN, on their modalities. The seventy-five members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LDPF) are working to define in advance a mechanism for selecting a "temporary unified executive" that will govern the country pending the elections.


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