The Defence Advisory Section of UNSMIL, in collaboration with the Libyan authorities and in liaison with the international community, continues to support the development of Libya’s strategic defence vision. The Defence Advisory Section is assisting the Ministry of Defence and the Office of the Chief of the General Staff to identify and implement practical initiatives in relevant areas such as readiness, capabilities, training, doctrine, logistics, procurement, and weapons and ammunition management.  Finally, both Libya and the international community continue to look to UNSMIL to play a leading role in the coordination of defence development support to Libya.

Libyan Defence Strategy and Architecture. On 7 April 2013, UNSMIL’s Security Sector Advisory and Coordination Division presented “Towards a Defence White Paper” to the Minister of Defence and Chief of the General Staff.  This joint effort by the Ministry of Defence, the Libyan Armed Forces and UNSMIL lays out the elements for a future Libyan defence strategy as well as immediate priorities.  In March 2014, the Minister of Defence created a committee to study and develop an interim defence strategy and appointed UNSMIL as a member of that Committee to provide technical advice to the programme.  The Committee set to work in March to develop both an interim policy (the “what”) and an interim strategy (the “how”).  

Personnel Reform. The Defence Advisory Section has provided a range of personnel reform support to the Libyan Army, including the development of a promotion system for Non-Commissioned Officers, development of a detailed and comprehensive pension reform, and a draft plan to rebuild Libya’s military units and integrate members of armed groups.  

Training Development. UNSMIL has supported reviews of Libya’s military training; the modernisation of training systems, teaching methodologies and faculty around Libya; the drafting of course curricula; advice on new approaches to student assessment and the delivery of courses and exercises at the military strategic and operational levels.  This support has not only improved training but built the national capacity to deliver training. 

Military Law. The Defence Advisory Section has provided extensive support to the review and drafting of legislation for the defence sector, including the Military Judiciary Law and the Military Service Law.  This includes advice, formal reviews and drafting support, as well as briefings to relevant committees and seminars.  UNSMIL has been invited to advise the recently formed Libyan Committee tasked with reviewing all existing military laws and developing new legislation as required.

Enhancing Procurement. The Ministry of Defence Procurement Office and the Libyan Armed Forces Military Procurement Department held a seminar on military procurement which highlighted modern trends and procedures in military procurement; developed recommendations aimed at improving military procurement in Libya and opened the way for action to address specific procurement issues and build capacity that directly supports Libya’s urgent requirements for defence sector reform and development.  Following the seminar, a committee was established to progress the recommendations, comprising the Ministry of Defence and UNSMIL.  The recommendations are now being considered by the office of the Minister of Defence.  The Military Procurement Department and UNSMIL are now developing training initiatives aimed at capacity building in the field.

Coordination of International Defence Development Assistance. Since 2012, the Defence Advisory Section has played a leading role in the coordination of international defence cooperation. This has been achieved through regular sector working groups co-chaired by UNSMIL and Libya and through bilateral meetings. In particular, the defence sector working group has facilitated greater coordination between the Ministry of Defence, the General Staff Command (the military HQs) and international development partners.