UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced the appointment of Stephanie Williams of the US as his special adviser on Libya.
Williams will lead good offices and mediation efforts and engagements with Libyan, regional and international stakeholders to pursue implementation of the three intra-Libyan dialogue tracks — political, security and economic — and support the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya, Xinhua news agency quoted Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, as saying.
The appointment came after the resignation of Special Envoy Jan Kubis last month, which created a leadership crisis at a crucial time for Libya as the country prepares for elections scheduled for December 24.
Kubis tendered his resignation on November 17 and indicated his readiness to stay on as special envoy for a transitional period to ensure continuity.
In response, Guterres, in a letter dated November 23, accepted Kubis’ resignation, effective as of December 10.
Dujarric said that the special adviser is a new position and that she will be based in Tripoli instead of Geneva, where Special Envoy Kubis was based.
Although technically not a successor to Kubis, Williams will be leading the work of the UN in Libya, said Dujarric.
On Williams’ tenure and future role, Dujarric said that “we’ll see what architecture Security Council members come up with” when the council renews the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya in January 2022.
Williams has extensive experience in diplomacy and foreign security policy, said Dujarric.
She became acting special representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya in March 2020 following the sudden resignation of Ghassan Salame as special representative.
She held the position till Kubis’ appointment in January 2021.
Williams served as deputy special representative on Libya between 2018 and March 2020.