Voltaire Network

UN security council resolution 1973 in favour of a no-fly zone in Libya

| New York (USA)
+
JPEG - 42.9 kb

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolution 1970 (2011) of 26 February 2011,

Deploring the failure of the Libyan authorities to comply with resolution 1970 (2011),

Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties,

Reiterating the responsibility of the Libyan authorities to protect the Libyan population and reaffirming that parties to armed conflicts bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians,

Condemning the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and summary executions,

Further condemning acts of violence and intimidation committed by the Libyan authorities against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel and urging these authorities to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law as outlined in resolution 1738 (2006),

Considering that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity,

Recalling paragraph 26 of resolution 1970 (2011) in which the Council expressed its readiness to consider taking additional appropriate measures, as necessary, to facilitate and support the return of humanitarian agencies and make available humanitarian and related assistance in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Expressing its determination to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian populated areas and the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance and the safety of humanitarian personnel,

Recalling the condemnation by the League of Arab States, the African Union, and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference of the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have been and are being committed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Taking note of the final communiqué of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference of 8 March 2011, and the communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union of 10 March 2011 which established an ad hoc High Level Committee on Libya,

Taking note also of the decision of the Council of the League of Arab States of 12 March 2011 to call for the imposition of a no-fly zone on Libyan military aviation, and to establish safe areas in places exposed to shelling as a precautionary measure that allows the protection of the Libyan people and foreign nationals residing in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Taking note further of the Secretary-General’s call on 16 March 2011 for an immediate cease-fire,

Recalling its decision to refer the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya since 15 February 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and stressing that those responsible for or complicit in attacks targeting the civilian population, including aerial and naval attacks, must be held to account,

Reiterating its concern at the plight of refugees and foreign workers forced to flee the violence in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, welcoming the response of neighbouring States, in particular Tunisia and Egypt, to address the needs of those refugees and foreign workers, and calling on the international community to support those efforts,

Deploring the continuing use of mercenaries by the Libyan authorities,

Considering that the establishment of a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya constitutes an important element for the protection of civilians as well as the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and a decisive step for the cessation of hostilities in Libya,

Expressing concern also for the safety of foreign nationals and their rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Welcoming the appointment by the Secretary General of his Special Envoy to Libya, Mr Abdel-Elah Mohamed Al-Khatib and supporting his efforts to find a sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Determining that the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Demands the immediate establishment of a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians;

2. Stresses the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people and notes the decisions of the Secretary-General to send his Special Envoy to Libya and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to send its ad hoc High Level Committee to Libya with the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution;

3. Demands that the Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance;

Protection of civilians

4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;

5. Recognizes the important role of the League of Arab States in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, and bearing in mind Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, requests the Member States of the League of Arab States to cooperate with other Member States in the implementation of paragraph 4;

No fly zone

6. Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;

7. Decides further that the ban imposed by paragraph 6 shall not apply to flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian, such as delivering or facilitating the delivery of assistance, including medical supplies, food, humanitarian workers and related assistance, or evacuating foreign nationals from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, nor shall it apply to flights authorised by paragraphs 4 or 8, nor other flights which are deemed necessary by States acting under the authorisation conferred in paragraph 8 to be for the benefit of the Libyan people, and that these flights shall be coordinated with any mechanism established under paragraph 8;

8. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights imposed by paragraph 6 above, as necessary, and requests the States concerned in cooperation with the League of Arab States to coordinate closely with the Secretary General on the measures they are taking to implement this ban, including by establishing an appropriate mechanism for implementing the provisions of paragraphs 6 and 7 above,

9. Calls upon all Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to provide assistance, including any necessary over-flight approvals, for the purposes of implementing paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above;

10. Requests the Member States concerned to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General on the measures they are taking to implement paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above, including practical measures for the monitoring and approval of authorised humanitarian or evacuation flights;

11. Decides that the Member States concerned shall inform the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States immediately of measures taken in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above, including to supply a concept of operations;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Council immediately of any actions taken by the Member States concerned in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above and to report to the Council within 7 days and every month thereafter on the implementation of this resolution, including information on any violations of the flight ban imposed by paragraph 6 above;

Enforcement of the arms embargo

13. Decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced by the following paragraph : "Calls upon all Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections and authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections";

14. Requests Member States which are taking action under paragraph 13 above on the high seas to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General and further requests the States concerned to inform the Secretary-General and the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) ("the Committee") immediately of measures taken in the exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 13 above;

15. Requires any Member State whether acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 13 above, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspection, the results of such inspection, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee, at a later stage, a subsequent written report containing relevant details on the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;

16. Deplores the continuing flows of mercenaries into the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and calls upon all Member States to comply strictly with their obligations under paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011) to prevent the provision of armed mercenary personnel to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

Ban on flights

17. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft registered in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or owned or operated by Libyan nationals or companies to take off from, land in or overfly their territory unless the particular flight has been approved in advance by the Committee, or in the case of an emergency landing;

18. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft to take off from, land in or overfly their territory, if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, except in the case of an emergency landing;

Asset freeze

19. Decides that the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply to all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and decides further that all States shall ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any individuals or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and directs the Committee to designate such Libyan authorities, individuals or entities within 30 days of the date of the adoption of this resolution and as appropriate thereafter;

20. Affirms its determination to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall, at a later stage, as soon as possible be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

21. Decides that all States shall require their nationals, persons subject to their jurisdiction and firms incorporated in their territory or subject to their jurisdiction to exercise vigilance when doing business with entities incorporated in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or subject to its jurisdiction, and any individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and entities owned or controlled by them, if the States have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that such business could contribute to violence and use of force against civilians;

Designations

22. Decides that the individuals listed in Annex I shall be subject to the travel restrictions imposed in paragraphs 15 and 16 of resolution 1970 (2011), and decides further that the individuals and entities listed in Annex II shall be subject to the asset freeze imposed in paragraphs 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011);

23. Decides that the measures specified in paragraphs 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply also to individuals and entities determined by the Council or the Committee to have violated the provisions of resolution 1970 (2011), particularly paragraphs 9 and 10 thereof, or to have assisted others in doing so;

Panel of experts

24. Requests the Secretary-General to create for an initial period of one year, in consultation with the Committee, a group of up to eight experts ("Panel of Experts"), under the direction of the Committee to carry out the following tasks:

(a) Assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate as specified in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution;

(b) Gather, examine and analyse information from States, relevant United Nations bodies, regional organisations and other interested parties regarding the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;

(c) Make recommendations on actions the Council, or the Committee or State, may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures;

(d) Provide to the Council an interim report on its work no later than 90 days after the Panel’s appointment, and a final report to the Council no later than 30 days prior to the termination of its mandate with its findings and recommendations;

25. Urges all States, relevant United Nations bodies and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel of Experts, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;

26. Decides that the mandate of the Committee as set out in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall also apply to the measures decided in this resolution;

27. Decides that all States, including the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, shall take the necessary measures to ensure that no claim shall lie at the instance of the Libyan authorities, or of any person or body in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, or of any person claiming through or for the benefit of any such person or body, in connection with any contract or other transaction where its performance was affected by reason of the measures taken by the Security Council in resolution 1970 (2011), this resolution and related resolutions;

28. Reaffirms its intention to keep the actions of the Libyan authorities under continuous review and underlines its readiness to review at any time the measures imposed by this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011), including by strengthening, suspending or lifting those measures, as appropriate, based on compliance by the Libyan authorities with this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011).

29. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

The President Mr. Li Baodong (China) (spoke in Chinese): The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.

Members of the Council have before them document S/2011/142, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by France, Lebanon, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.

I wish to welcome the presence at this meeting of the Deputy Secretary-General, Her Excellency Mrs. Asha-Rose Migiro.

I congratulate His Excellency Mr. Alain Juppé on his assumption of the office of Minister for Foreign Affairs of France. In my capacity as President of the Council, I would like to extend, on behalf of the Council, a warm welcome to Mr. Juppé and to thank him for his participation in today’s meeting.

It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it.

I shall now give the floor to those members who wish to make statements before the voting.

Mr. Juppé (France) (spoke in French): Allow me first to thank you, Sir, for your warm words of welcome, which I deeply appreciated.

The world is experiencing one of the great revolutions that change the course of history. From North Africa to the Persian Gulf, the Arab people clamour to breathe the air of liberty and democracy. From the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia and the events of 25 January in Egypt, great hope arose and democratic transition was launched in a spirit of maturity and responsibility.

In Morocco, King Mohammed VI announced in a courageous and visionary speech the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. This new Arab spring is good news, I am certain, for all of us. Our duty and interest require us to support these developments with confidence and availability — not to teach lessons or set examples, but to help each people to build its own future.

In Libya, alas, for a number of weeks the will of the people has been crushed by the murderous repression led by Colonel Al-Qadhafi’s regime against his own people. That is why the General Assembly, pursuant to the 25 February request of the Human Rights Council, suspended Libya from that Council. That is why the Security Council determined on 26 February that

“the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity” (resolution 1970 (2011)).

In its resolution 1970 (2011), which was adopted unanimously, the Security Council recalled the Libyan authorities’ responsibility to protect the Libyan people and at the same time demanded an immediate end to the violence. It expressed the hope that those responsible for these crimes will be brought before the International Criminal Court and referred the matter to the Prosecutor. It imposed sanctions on Colonel Al-Qadhafi, members of his family and his accomplices. Finally, it imposed an embargo on arms destined for Libya.

These measures have not been sufficient. Throughout the country, violence against the civilian population has only increased. Given this intolerable provocation, the international community has reacted in near unanimity. The European Union did so at the extraordinary meeting of the European Council on 11 March. The Group of Eight countries did so in Paris on Tuesday. Regional organizations have also expressed themselves forcefully. First and foremost, the League of Arab States called on the Security Council in its 12 March resolution to establish a no-fly zone. I also wish to commend the commitment of the African Union, which has called for an end to the violence against civilians.

Despite these calls for peace, the situation in Libya today is more alarming than ever. As I speak, Colonel Al-Qadhafi’s troops pursue their violent conquest of liberated cities and territories. We must not give free rein to warmongers; we must not abandon civilian populations, the victims of brutal repression, to their fate; we must not allow the rule of law and international morality to be trampled underfoot. For this reason, France sought to contribute its utmost to the international momentum by working alongside the United Kingdom, the United States and others to prepare the draft resolution before the Council.

The draft resolution provides the Council with the means to protect the civilian populations in Libya, first by establishing a no-fly zone and by authorizing the members of the Arab League and those Member States that so wish to take the measures necessary to implement its provisions. Furthermore, it authorizes these same States to take all measures necessary, over and above the no-fly zone, to protect civilians and territories, including Benghazi, which are under the threat of attack by Colonel Al-Qadhafi’s forces. Lastly, it strengthens the sanctions that have been adopted against the regime, including implementing the arms embargo, freezing the assets of authorities in Tripoli and prohibiting flights by Libyan airlines.

France solemnly calls on all members of the Security Council to support this initiative and to adopt the draft resolution. If it is adopted, we are prepared to act with Member States — in particular Arab States — that wish to do so.

We do not have much time left. It is a matter of days, perhaps even hours. Every hour and day that goes by means a further clampdown and repression for the freedom-loving civilian population, in particular the people of Benghazi. Every hour and day that goes by increases the burden of responsibility on our shoulders. If we are careful not to act too late, the Security Council will have the distinction of having ensured that in Libya law prevails over force, democracy over dictatorship and freedom over oppression.

The President (spoke in Chinese): I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.

A vote was taken by show of hands.

In favour:

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, France, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America

Against:

None

Abstaining:

Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russian Federation

The President (spoke in Chinese): The result of the voting is as follows: 10 votes in favour, none against and 5 abstentions. The draft resolution has been adopted as resolution 1973 (2011).

I shall now give the floor to members who wish to make statements following the voting.

Mr. Salam (Lebanon) (spoke in Arabic): We have all witnessed the rapidly unfolding painful events and the great suffering that has struck Libya, a brotherly country experiencing acts of violence and the use of heavy weapons and aircraft against large swaths of the civilian population. Hundreds of innocent victims have died and we have seen the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Libyan citizens.

Faced with that great danger, the Security Council has not stood by idly. We adopted resolution 1970 (2011), which demanded the immediate cessation of all acts of violence. Given the grave danger posed by these crimes, the situation in Libya was referred to the International Criminal Court. For its part, the General Assembly decided to suspend Libya’s membership in the Human Rights Council. However, Colonel Al-Qadhafi’s regime disregarded the demands and yearnings of his people as well as international resolutions.

Lebanon launched an appeal in the Security Council based on the resolution of the League of Arab States of 12 March, which stipulates that the Security Council must

“assume its responsibilities with regard to the situation in Libya, including taking the necessary measures to impose a no-fly zone; the establishment of safe areas, especially in places that have been struck by aircraft; and measures to ensure the protection of the Libyan people and all foreign citizens”.

Today’s resolution essentially takes into account the calls by the people of Libya and the demands by the League of Arab States for an end to the violent acts and atrocious crimes being carried out by Libyan authorities against their people. As indicated in the Arab League’s statement, those authorities have lost all legitimacy. Today’s resolution is aimed at protecting Libyan civilians. We underscore the fact that it will not result in the occupation of any parts of Libyan territory. In that regard, I would like to reiterate the following aspects.

It is quite clear that Lebanon, which has itself experienced the atrocities of war and violence, would never advocate the use of force or support war in any part of the world — especially not in the brotherly country of Libya. Lebanon therefore hopes that the resolution adopted today will have a deterring effect, ensure that Libyan authorities move away from using all forms of violence against their own people, and avert the use of force.

As we did during the various stages of the negotiations that led to the adoption of this resolution, I would also like to reaffirm the importance of and need for full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya. Lebanon also reaffirms the importance of close cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States pursuant to Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. This aspect has also been included in the resolution we have just adopted.

We fully understand that the provisions and actions called for by the resolution cannot alone guarantee stability in Libya. We therefore reaffirm the importance of the efforts undertaken to achieve a peaceful solution to the situation in Libya. We support the mission of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Mr. Abdel-Elah Al-Khatib.

Faced with the great suffering being experienced by the Libyan people, the loss of life and the great dangers that still exist, although this resolution falls short of our expectations, we hope that it carries a great deal of hope for a better future for Libya and its valiant people.

Sir Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom): The situation in Libya is clear. A violent, discredited regime that has lost all legitimacy is using weapons of war against civilians. Al-Qadhafi’s regime has ignored this Council’s demand in resolution 1970 (2011) that it stop the violence against the Libyan people. It is now preparing for a violent assault on a city of 1 million people that has a history dating back 2,500 years. It has begun air strikes in anticipation of what we expect to be a brutal attack using air, land and sea forces. Al-Qadhafi has publicly promised no mercy and no pity. We have also seen reports today of a grotesque offer of amnesty — this, from a regime that has advertised its determination to continue persecuting and killing those Libyans who want only to take control of their own future.

The international community has come together in deploring the actions of the Al-Qadhafi regime and demanding that the regime end this violence against the Libyan people. International opinion has looked to the Security Council to act. The League of Arab States has been particularly clear in its demands, including for the imposition of a no-fly zone. That is why the United Kingdom, in close cooperation with Lebanon and France, has pressed for the early adoption of today’s resolution. My Government welcomes the fact that the Council has acted swiftly and comprehensively in response to the appalling situation in Libya and to the appeal of the Arab League.

Resolution 1973 (2011) demands that Colonel Al Qadhafi implement an immediate ceasefire. It imposes a no-fly zone to prevent the Al-Qadhafi regime from using air power against the Libyan people. It authorizes Member States to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack. It rules out a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory. It imposes a range of additional measures, including significant action to tighten enforcement of the arms embargo and to deny the regime access to funds. We, along with partners in the Arab world and in NATO, are now ready to shoulder our responsibilities in implementing resolution 1973 (2011).

The central purpose of the resolution is clear: to end the violence, to protect civilians and to allow the people of Libya to determine their own future, free from the tyranny of the Al-Qadhafi regime. The Libyan population wants the same rights and freedoms that people across the Middle East and North Africa are demanding and that are enshrined in the values of the United Nations Charter. Today’s resolution puts the weight of the Security Council squarely behind the Libyan people in defence of those values.

Mr. Wittig (Germany): We have gathered today to address the serious situation in Libya. Our intention is to stop the violence in the country and to send clear messages to Al-Qadhafi and his regime that their time is over. Muammar Al-Qadhafi must relinquish power immediately. His regime has lost all legitimacy and can no longer be an interlocutor for us.

While we act on Libya, North Africa is undergoing major political changes. Aspirations to democracy and human and individual rights merit our full support. They offer unique opportunities for political, social and economic transformation. To achieve this goal, we seek close cooperation with our partners in the region, in particular the League of Arab States and the African Union.

Our aim is to promote the political transformation of Libya. We see a need to stop the violence and to start a true political process. The basis for democracy and the rule of law in Libya needs to be established and broadened. In this process, the people of Libya, who have so clearly expressed their aspirations to freedom and democracy, need to succeed. With this aim in mind, we regard the Interim Transitional National Council as an important interlocutor.

We welcome the Secretary-General’s appointment of Mr. Abdel-Elah Al-Khatib as his Special Envoy for Libya. His mission merits our respect and our full support.

We are particularly concerned about the plight of the Libyan people and the widespread and systematic attacks they are suffering. It is therefore crucial that we tighten the sanctions against the Al-Qadhafi regime even more. We need to cut it off from the financial means that have helped it to remain in power. In our view, strong sanctions, backed by the whole international community, will be an effective way to end the rule of Muammar Al-Qadhafi and thereby to initiate the necessary political transition. We have contributed a number of proposals in this regard. Germany fully supports the package of economic and financial sanctions in the resolution just adopted.

Decisions on the use of military force are always extremely difficult to take. We have very carefully considered the option of using military force — its implications as well as its limitations. We see great risks. The likelihood of large-scale loss of life should not be underestimated. If the steps proposed turn out to be ineffective, we see the danger of being drawn into a protracted military conflict that would affect the wider region. We should not enter into a militarily confrontation on the optimistic assumption that quick results with few casualties will be achieved.

Germany therefore decided not to support a military option, as foreseen particularly in paragraphs 4 and 8 of the resolution. Furthermore, Germany will not contribute to such a military effort with its own forces. Germany therefore decided to abstain in the voting.

Ms. Rice (United States of America): Today, the Security Council has responded to the Libyan people’s cry for help. The Council’s purpose is clear — to protect innocent civilians. On 26 February, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council demanded a halt to the violence in Libya and enabled genuine accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity by referring the situation to the International Criminal Court. We adopted strong sanctions that target Libya’s leadership. We have also strongly supported all aspects of United Nations Special Envoy Al-Khatib’s mandate. But Colonel Al-Qadhafi and those who still stand by him continue to grossly and systematically abuse the most fundamental human rights of Libya’s people.

On 12 March, the League of Arab States called on the Security Council to establish a no-fly zone and to take other measures to protect civilians. Today’s resolution is a powerful response to that call and to the urgent needs on the ground. The resolution demands an immediate ceasefire and a complete end to violence and attacks against civilians. Responding to the Libyan people and to the League of Arab States, the Security Council has authorized the use of force, including the enforcement of a no-fly zone, to protect civilians and civilian areas targeted by Colonel Al-Qadhafi, his intelligence and security forces, and his mercenaries.

The resolution also strengthens enforcement of the arms embargo and bans all international flights by Libyan-owned or operated aircraft. The resolution freezes the assets of seven more individuals and five entities, including key State-owned Libyan companies. The resolution empowers the newly established Libyan sanctions committee to impose sanctions on those who violate the arms embargo, including by providing Al Qadhafi with mercenaries. Finally, the Council established a panel of experts to monitor and enhance short- and long-term implementation of the sanctions on Libya.

The future of Libya should be decided by the people of Libya. The United States stands with the Libyan people in support of their universal rights.

Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri (India): India has been following with serious concern the developments in Libya, which have led to the loss of numerous lives and injuries to many more. We are very concerned about the welfare of the civilian population and of foreigners in Libya. We deplore the use of force, which is totally unacceptable and must not be resorted to.

The Secretary-General has appointed a Special Envoy, who has just visited Libya. We support his appointment and his mission. However, we have not had the benefit of his report or even a report from the Secretariat on his assessment as yet. That would have given us an objective analysis of the situation on the ground. The African Union is also sending a high-level panel to Libya to make serious efforts for a peaceful end to the crisis there. We must stress the importance of political efforts, including those of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, to address the situation.

The Council has today adopted a resolution that authorizes far-reaching measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, with relatively little credible information on the situation on the ground in Libya. We also do not have clarity about details of enforcement measures, including who will participate and with what assets, and how these measures will exactly be carried out. It is of course very important that there be full respect for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Libya.

The financial measures that are proposed in the resolution could impact directly or through indirect routes the ongoing trade and investment activities of a number of Member States, thereby adversely affecting the economic interests of the Libyan people and others dependent on these trade and economic ties. Moreover, we have to ensure that the measures will mitigate and not exacerbate an already difficult situation for the people of Libya. Clarity in the resolution on any spillover effects of these measures would have been very important.

We abstained in the voting on the resolution in view of the aforementioned. I would like to re emphasize that India continues to be gravely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya and calls on the Libyan authorities to cease fire, protect the civilian population and address the legitimate demands of the Libyan people.

Mrs. Viotti (Brazil): Brazil is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Libya. We stand behind the strong message of resolution 1970 (2011) adopted by consensus by the Council. The Government of Brazil has publicly condemned the use of violence by the Libyan authorities against unarmed demonstrators, and calls on them to uphold and protect the right of free expression of the protesters and to seek a solution to the crisis through meaningful dialogue.

Our vote today should in no way be interpreted as condoning the behaviour of the Libyan authorities or as disregard for the need to protect civilians and respect their rights. Brazil stands in solidarity with all movements in the region expressing legitimate demands for better governance, more political participation, economic opportunities and social justice.

We condemn the Libyan authorities’ disrespect for their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law. We also took into account the call of the League of Arab States for strong measures to stop the violence through a no-fly zone. We are sensitive to that call and understand and share the League’s concerns.

It is our view that the text of resolution 1973 (2011) contemplates measures that go far beyond that call. We are not convinced that the use of force as provided for in paragraph 4 of the resolution will lead to the realization of our common objective — the immediate end to violence and the protection of civilians. We are also concerned that such measures may have the unintended effect of exacerbating tensions on the ground and causing more harm than good to the very same civilians we are committed to protecting.

Many thoughtful commentators have noted that an important aspect of the popular movement in North Africa and the Middle East is their spontaneous, home-grown nature. We are also concerned about the possibility that the use of military force, as called for in paragraph 4 of today’s resolution, could change that narrative in ways that may have serious repercussions for the situation in Libya and beyond.

Protecting civilians, ensuring a lasting settlement and addressing the legitimate demands of the Libyan people require diplomacy and dialogue. We support the efforts being made in this regard by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and by the African Union. We also welcome the inclusion in today’s resolution of operative paragraphs demanding an immediate ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against civilians, and stressing the need to intensify efforts conducive to the political reforms necessary for a peaceful and sustainable solution. We hope that these efforts will proceed and succeed.

Mr. Barbalić (Bosnia and Herzegovina): At the outset, allow me to reiterate Bosnia and Herzegovina’s grave concern regarding the rapidly deteriorating situation in Libya. Human lives must be protected and human rights and humanitarian law must be observed. The need for humanitarian assistance to be provided to Libyans is urgent. Therefore, enabling the unimpeded passage for the delivery of humanitarian aid is a prerogative.

Bosnia and Herzegovina supports the involvement of regional stakeholders in searching for an end to the Libyan crisis. We believe that the coordinated approach of international actors, the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the African Union and other regional organizations is crucial to finding the most adequate solution to the crisis in Libya.

By fully supporting Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Bosnia and Herzegovina calls once again on the Libyan authorities to immediately stop all military and other violent acts against the Libyan people. We strongly believe that resolution 1973 (2011)) is for the benefit of the Libyan people and their aspiration to peace and democracy.

Mr. Osorio (Colombia) (spoke in Spanish): I should like to begin by thanking you, Mr. President, for the impartial and efficient way in which you have conducted this debate in difficult and pressing circumstances. I should also like to recognize the contribution of the delegation of Lebanon, both as a member of the Council and as spokesperson for the League of Arab States, to these deliberations.

Colombia voted in favour of resolution 1973 (2011) because it is convinced that its purpose is essentially humanitarian and conducive to creating conditions that will allow for the protection of the civilian population from the atrocities of a regime that has lost all legitimacy. We did not vote in favour of the indiscriminate use of force or of the occupation of a State. We voted in favour of measures that are aimed at protecting the civilian population from imminent attacks by a Government that, through its actions and statements, has shown that it is not up to the international responsibility of protecting its population. Moreover, the Council unanimously reminded the Libyan authorities of that responsibility in its resolution 1970 (2011), of 26 February. The Government of Colombia deeply deplores the fact that the provisions of that resolution have been systematically violated and that our calls have gone unheeded. We deplore also the fact that this time there is not the unanimity we saw in the case of resolution 1970 (2011).

Colombia believes that the new resolution that we have just adopted represents the continuation of a process involving gradual measures that is in keeping with the Charter and that we began with resolution 1970 (2011), which was adopted by the Council under Chapter VII of the Charter.

In resolution 1970 (2011), the Council decided unanimously that it would keep this matter under review and that it was willing to consider the strengthening of sanctions should there be persistent non-compliance by the Libyan regime. My delegation believes that this is what we have done today.

My delegation is clear on the fact that the Libyan authorities had sufficient time to comply with resolution 1970 (2011) and in particular the call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the violence. In the face of this non-compliance, the Council has a pressing need to act. It has decided that the best way to increase the pressure on the Al-Qadhafi regime under current circumstances is through the establishment of a no-fly zone, as requested by the States members of the League of Arab States.

Colombia shares the view of those delegations that have affirmed or suggested that perhaps even more important than the establishment of a no-fly zone is its enforcement. It is for this reason that from the very beginning we supported the inclusion of language granting clear authorization to States to use all the means necessary to enforce the ban on flights as set out by the terms of the resolution. Without this authorization, the no-fly zone would be illusory. Also important are the decisions we have taken to strengthen the freezing of the assets of individuals and entities with ties to the regime.

Colombia is convinced that in the case of Libya, all of the conditions are present for the Council to act under Chapter VII and take measures additional to the sanctions adopted previously.

We are facing a situation that clearly constitutes a threat to international peace and security and that, furthermore, has already taken a high toll in terms of human lives. We have effectively responded to an express request made by a regional organization, the Arab League, which, to its great credit, instead of acting on its own went to the Council to call for it to discharge the functions assigned to it by the Charter. Colombia is secure in the knowledge that it is acting in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law.

Mr. Churkin (Russian Federation) (spoke in Russian): The Russian Federation abstained in the voting on the draft resolution on Libya on the basis of a number of considerations of principle. Our position regarding the clear unacceptability of the use of force against the civilian population of Libya remains unchanged. Any attacks against civilians and other violations of international humanitarian law and human rights must immediately and unconditionally cease.

We base ourselves on the expectation that the relevant requirements contained in the unanimously adopted resolution 1970 (2011) must be rapidly and fully fulfilled by the Libyan authorities. This has not happened yet. Given this situation, the League of Arab States turned to the Security Council with a request that it take immediate measures to ensure the protection of the civilian population in Libya, including the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace. We gave that request our full attention. We participated actively in the discussions on the draft resolution. Unfortunately, work on that document was not in keeping with standard practice in the Security Council. In essence, a whole range of questions raised by Russia and other members of the Council remained unanswered. Those questions were concrete and legitimate and touched on how the no-fly zone would be enforced, what the rules of engagement would be and what limits on the use of force there would be.

Furthermore, the draft was morphing before our very eyes, transcending the initial concept as stated by the League of Arab States. Provisions were introduced into the text that could potentially open the door to large-scale military intervention.

During negotiations on the draft, statements were heard claiming an absence of any such intentions. We take note of these. I underscore yet again that we are consistent and firm advocates of the protection of the civilian population. Guided by this basic principle as well as by the common humanitarian values that we share with both the sponsors and other Council members, Russia did not prevent the adoption of this resolution. However, we remain convinced that the quickest way to ensure robust security for the civilian population and the long-term stabilization of the situation in Libya is an immediate ceasefire. This, specifically, was the aim of our draft resolution submitted to the Security Council on 16 March, which backed relevant efforts by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, the Human Rights Council and the African Union and underscored the need for a peaceful settlement of the situation in Libya.

The Russian delegation repeatedly proposed the adoption of such a resolution without any delay, with a view to saving numerous human lives. We enjoyed the support of a number of Council members, and we are grateful to them. However, the passion of some Council members for methods involving force prevailed. This is most unfortunate and regrettable.

Responsibility for the inevitable humanitarian consequences of the excessive use of outside force in Libya will fall fair and square on the shoulders of those who might undertake such action. If this comes to pass, then not only the civilian population of Libya but also the cause of upholding peace and security throughout the entire region of North Africa and the Middle East will suffer. Such destabilizing developments must be avoided.

Mr. Moraes Cabral (Portugal): Since the outset of the Libyan popular uprising, Portugal has consistently condemned the indiscriminate violence against civilians and the gross and systematic violation of human rights and of humanitarian law perpetrated by a regime that has lost all its credibility and legitimacy vis-à-vis its own population and the international community.

We have appealed for the cessation of all violence and for the establishment of an immediate ceasefire as well as for the full protection of civilians and foreign residents in Libya and their right to leave the country without hindrance and in safe conditions. We have drawn attention to the plight of the thousands and thousands of refugees forced to flee the violence and the need to afford them all humanitarian assistance possible.

Due to these reasons, we voted with the other members of the Council for resolution 1970 (2011), which was adopted unanimously. Nevertheless, the authorities in Tripoli took no note of that resolution and have failed totally to abide by it. On the contrary, since 26 February, the violence has escalated, as have the crimes committed against the Libyan population. Civilians have been bombarded from land and air.

Portugal has also constantly stressed the need for a national political dialogue that would enable the Libyan population to fulfil its legitimate aspirations to build a democratic, modern State based on the sovereignty of the people and on institutions that would represent them effectively.

For the international community, the regime that has ruled Libya for more than 40 years has come to an end by the will of the Libyan people. It has to be fundamentally reformed through a peaceful process.

Today we voted for this resolution because we believe that it fulfils these essential objectives: to establish an immediate ceasefire; to put an end to violence; to protect civilians; to allow for unimpeded humanitarian aid; and to lead to a national dialogue among the Libyans conducive to the establishment of a democratic State, guaranteeing the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the country, as desired by the Libyan people.

In that context, we fully support the mission entrusted by the Secretary-General to Mr. Al-Khatib and his efforts to find a sustainable and peaceful solution to this crisis, as we support the efforts of the Arab League and of the African Union in this same sense.

Mrs. Ogwu (Nigeria): Resolution 1973 (2011), which was just adopted, was necessitated by the persistently grave and dire situation in Libya. Notwithstanding the clear expression of our common will and the comprehensive measures instituted under resolution 1970 (2011), the Libyan authorities have continued to violate the terms of the resolution and fundamental principles of international law.

The current state of affairs leaves an indelible imprint on the conscience and moves us to act. The magnitude of this humanitarian disaster is indeed what compelled Nigeria to vote in favour of resolution 1973 (2011). Our persistent calls for peace are rooted in the need to ensure the safety and dignity of and the availability of humanitarian assistance for a population in need, many of whom are Nigerian nationals. The emphasis of the resolution on the protection of civilians under threat of attack and the provisions for humanitarian assistance do much to address these concerns.

The League of Arab States and the African Union have spoken with one voice in condemnation of the situation in Libya — and rightly so, as the crisis is one of regional import.

As a member of the Security Council and a member of the African Union, Nigeria maintains that foreign occupation is not an option to secure peace in Libya. We acknowledge the language in resolution 1973 (2011) that specifically carves out that possibility, constraining the actions of States seeking to play a role in the quest for peace. Moreover, we are guided by an overriding determination to respect the unity and territorial integrity of Libya. We are also encouraged by the fact that the resolution supports the political path to conflict resolution, underscoring as it does the efforts of the African Union high-level committee, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy and other interlocutors.

Today, we have sent an unequivocal message to the Libyan people that the dignity and safety of every man, woman and child is paramount. It is important that when civilians in grave danger cry out, the international community, undaunted, is ready to respond.

Mr. Sangqu (South Africa): South Africa is deeply concerned about the deteriorating political and humanitarian situation in Libya, which is fast becoming a full-blown civil war. It is our hope that the situation in Libya will be resolved in a peaceful manner, in accordance with the will of the Libyan people. A holistic political solution must be found that will respect democracy, political reform, justice, human rights and the socio-economic development needs of the people of Libya, in order to ensure long-term peace and stability. That solution must also preserve the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya.

It is in that context that South Africa commends the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council to dispatch an ad hoc high-level committee to Libya to intensify efforts towards finding a lasting political solution to the crisis in that country, in the best interest of its people. We urge that committee, of which South Africa is a member, to work closely with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Libya and the League of Arab States in coordinating the search for a political solution in that regard.

In adopting resolution 1970 (2011), the Security Council had hoped that the Libyan authorities would act responsibly and stop committing more acts of violence against their own people. The authorities have defied that resolution and have continued to kill and displace numerous civilians while continuing to violate their human rights. We believe that the United Nations and the Security Council could not be silent, nor be seen to be doing nothing in the face of such grave acts of violence committed against innocent civilians.

We believe that by adopting resolution 1973 (2011), which South Africa voted in favour of, the Security Council has responded appropriately to the call of the countries of the region to strengthen the implementation of resolution 1970 (2011), and has acted responsibly to protect and save the lives of defenceless civilians, who are faced with brutal acts of violence carried out by the Libyan authorities. We believe that the establishment of these additional measures, including a ceasefire and a no-fly zone, as authorized by this resolution, constitute an important element for the protection of civilians and the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those most vulnerable and those desperately in need of such assistance.

As a matter of principle, we have supported the resolution, with the necessary caveats to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya and reject any foreign occupation or unilateral military intervention under the pretext of protecting civilians. It is our hope that this resolution will be implemented in full respect for both its letter and spirit. This is consistent with the African Union Peace and Security Council decision to respect the unity and territorial integrity of Libya and its rejection of any foreign military intervention, whatever its form.

In conclusion, South Africa will continue to work through the Council, the African Union and other multilateral and bilateral platforms to contribute to a speedy resolution of the Libyan crisis in a manner consistent with the aspirations of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

The President (spoke in Chinese): I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of China.

China is gravely concerned by the continuing deterioration of the situation in Libya. We support the Security Council’s adoption of appropriate and necessary action to stabilize the situation in Libya as soon as possible and to halt acts of violence against civilians.

China has always emphasized that, in its relevant actions, the Security Council should follow the United Nations Charter and the norms governing international law, respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Libya and resolve the current crisis in Libya through peaceful means.

China is always against the use of force in international relations. In the Security Council’s consultations on resolution 1973 (2011), we and other Council members asked specific questions. However, regrettably, many of those questions failed to be clarified or answered. China has serious difficulty with parts of the resolution.

Meanwhile, China attaches great importance to the relevant position by the 22-member Arab League on the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya. We also attach great importance to the position of African countries and the African Union.

In view of this, and considering the special circumstances surrounding the situation in Libya, China abstained from the voting on resolution 1973 (2011). We support the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Libya, as well as the continuing efforts by the African Union and the Arab League to address the current crisis in Libya by peaceful means.

I now resume my functions as President of the Council.

There are no further speakers inscribed on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.

The meeting rose at 7.20 p.m.

Voltaire Network

Voltaire, international edition

Article licensed under Creative Commons

The articles on Voltaire Network may be freely reproduced provided the source is cited, their integrity is respected and they are not used for commercial purposes (license CC BY-NC-ND).

Support Voltaire Network

You visit this website to seek quality analysis that enables you to forge your own understanding of today’s world. In order to continue our work, we need you to support our efforts.
Help us by making a contribution.

How to participate in Voltaire Network?

The members of our team are all volunteers.
- Professional-level mother-tongue translators: you can help us by translating our articles.