Operation IRINI has welcomed the Security Council's decision to extend its mandate to inspect ships on the high seas off the coast of Libya for another year.

IRINI considered the decision an important step, saying it demonstrates the international community's will to preserve the legal framework aimed at preventing the illicit trafficking of arms to and from Libya.

"In renewing the Resolution, the UN Security Council implicitly recognizes the importance of the work carried out by Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, being the only international actor that implements such Resolution, in an effective, impartial and balanced manner," IRINI said in a statement Friday.

The operation indicated that since its launch on March 31, 2020, it has investigated the crews of 3,344 merchant vessels, carried out 133 visits on ships, and conducted 14 boarding and inspections on suspected vessels.

According to IRINI, in 37 cases, their approach was denied by the vessels’ masters for various reasons, including COVID-related issues, while in six cases IRINI could not proceed to board and inspect suspect vessels due to the flag state denial.

The EU operation reported the monitoring of 468 suspicious flights, 25 airports (and landing strips), and 16 ports (and oil terminals), confirming that the outcomes of all the activities carried out by IRINI have been submitted to the relevant UN bodies through 23 special reports.