24 December 1951
Libya declared its independence as a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under King Idris I. It was the first country to achieve autonomy through the United Nations (UN) and one of the first former European possessions in Africa to gain independence. At the time of independence Libya, a former Italian possession, was under UN trusteeship. A UN resolution in November 1949 called for the establishment of a sovereign state including all three historic regions of Libya by January 1952. A UN commissioner and the so-called Council of Ten - comprising of a representative from each of the three provinces, one for the Libyan minorities, and one each for Egypt, France, Italy, Pakistan, Britain, and the United States - were to guide the country through the period of transition to independence. The Council assisted the Libyan national assembly in drawing up a constitution for the new state.