Special Political and Decolonization Committee


Sarah Chee

Cite as

Council: Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)

Country: Libya

Topic: Mining Rights

The question of mining rights has dated back to the colonial time and before, where powerful western nations dominated other countries, exploiting their natural resources. Recently, despite the independence of many countries, foreign investors still control much of the mining industry worldwide, preventing developing nations from fully benefitting from their resources. Still, the international community has put in some effort in dealing with the sovereignty of natural resources. Significantly, through resolution No. 3281, 1974, the General Assembly adopted the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States. Similarly, United Nations (UN) resolution 3201, 1974, gives states the right to nationalise their resources and not be subject to economic, political or other coercion to prevent the exercise of the right.

Libya’s economy, almost completely dependent on oil and gas exports, is vulnerable to external and internal shocks. With the biggest proven oil reserves in Africa, Libya is the third largest exporter of crude oil in Africa and one of the most important actors of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Libya has managed to nationalise oil production, with the Libyan Mining Code of 1970 outlining the rules and regulations governing the exploitation of natural resources.

Libya believes every country has the right to nationalise their resources and control its engagement with foreign investors and non-governmental stakeholders. The Libyan Petroleum Law No. 25/1955 provides Libya with permanent sovereignty over its natural resources, with no distinction between surface and sub-surface minerals. Libya created the National Mining Corporation to invest in its natural re...

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