A UN success story: Libya's seat turned over to interim government
The Security Council followed with a unanimous vote to ease sanctions on Libya and establish a post-conflict mission as the UN prepared to celebrate Libya as something it got right.
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Obama can be expected to highlight not only events in Libya but the role the UN is playing in shaping them – specifically because UN action there serves the president as an example of why in his view the US must be more and not less engaged with the UN and its agencies, some analysts say.Skip to next paragraph
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With broad international support, the UN is moving forward in Libya on issues from the securing of weapons stockpiles and decommissioning of arms to the transparency of human rights and the beginnings of plans for a democratic political transition, Mr. Alterman says.
Mr. Rhodes says the president is particularly keen to underscore with the Libyans their commitment to “an inclusive transition.” Some international leaders have expressed their concerns over the absence of women in the TNC leadership structure.
But if anything, Alterman says that perhaps the principal question mark tempering the UN celebration will be this: the durability of the leadership handling Libya’s transition.
“The question is whether the people we are working with now are the people who ultimately end up governing Libya?” he says.
A number of Western diplomats and officials from countries neighboring Libya continue to ask to what extent the country’s Islamist factions wield power, and what role they will eventually play in a post-Qaddafi Libya.
But at least for the coming days, the dominant vibe surrounding Libya is likely to be a positive one.
Aside from Obama, the European leaders who led the fight to protect Libyan civilians and against the Qaddafi regime – in particular British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy – can be expected to do their best to enhance the UN’s Libya celebration.
They will add their own nuance in the way they present the international community’s role in Libya over recent months, says Heather Conley, director of CSIS’s Europe Program. “They would say Libya turned out well because of strong European leadership.”