Following six months of armed conflict in the North African country of Libya, the United Nations in September 2011 established a political mission to support the country's new transitional authorities in their post-conflict efforts.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) is tasked by the Security Council with assisting the Libyan authorities in promoting the rule of law, strengthening human rights, and helping restore public security. At the same time, the Mission helps counter illicit arms proliferation, coordinate international assistance, and build government capacity. UNSMIL is overseen by the Department of Political Affairs, which provides guidance and operational assistance, and has its headquarters in the capital Tripoli, with offices in Benghazi and Sabha.
UNSMIL has contributed to drafting a new constitution and laying the foundation for the country’s first democratic elections in half a century, in July 2012, when millions of Libyans cast their ballots. Prior to the elections, the Mission supported the extension of State authority, including through strengthening emerging accountable institutions, restoring public services, and supporting transitional justice.
The Mission is headed by Bernadino Leon who on 1 September 2014 succeeded Tarek Mitri as its chief, as well as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya.
Building the new Libya, DPA E-News, February 2012