9 June 2011

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

No ‘Quick Fix’ to Libya Crisis, Says Secretary-General in Message, Declaring

Political Solution Remains Top Priority, for Which Efforts Have Intensified


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the third meeting of the Contact Group on Libya, as delivered by B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, in Abu Dhabi, 9 June:

I thank the Governments of Italy and the United Arab Emirates for organizing and co-chairing this third meeting of the Contact Group on Libya, at which we will continue to review our collective efforts to end the killing and destruction and ensure full implementation of Security Council resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973 (2011).

Fighting continues between forces loyal to the Libyan Government and the opposition.  NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] operations have been effective in protecting the civilian population.  But clearly, there is no quick fix to the crisis; the problem will not end quickly.

Democracy, human rights and social justice are at the core of the grievances being voiced by the Libyan people.  It is in this context that I welcome the recent conclusions of the International Commission of Inquiry set up by the Human Rights Council in February.  The report details crimes committed by Government forces, including murder, unlawful imprisonment, enforced disappearance and sexual abuse.  While such violations were committed largely by the Government, torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment have been committed by the opposition forces as well.  These findings are disturbing, but they underscore the validity of the letter and spirit of resolutions 1970 and 1973 and the urgent need to implement their provisions.

Since our last meeting in Rome, the United Nations conducted a humanitarian needs assessment mission in and around Tripoli and other areas.  Food stocks are getting depleted; there are fuel shortages, concerns about access to water services, and an acute lack of medical personnel owing to the departure of most foreign nationals.  Up to 25,000 Chadians remain stranded in Gatroum town, in south-western Libya.  Some 950,000 people have left Libya, of which 278,000 are third-country nationals and 250,000 are nationals from neighbouring countries.

Finding a political solution to the crisis in Libya remains our top priority, and our efforts have intensified.  The diplomatic isolation of Colonel [Muammar al-] Qadhafi is leading to more defections from his inner circle.  I look forward to the 15 June briefing of the Security Council by an African Union ministerial delegation.  These interactions, as well as the Cairo meeting of regional organizations hosted by the League of Arab States, underscore the need for continued international efforts to resolve the crisis.

NATO’s announcement at the beginning of the month that it is extending its mission in Libya by another 90 days sends a strong message that the international community remains determined to implement the relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973.

My Special Envoy to Libya, Abdul Ilahal-Khatib, continues to lead efforts to get the parties to end the military confrontation and work for a political solution.  He is here with you today and will provide more details.  The United Nations system continues planning for peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction.  Ian Martin, my Special Adviser to coordinate that planning, is here today and continues to work on a pre-assessment process.

The people of Libya deserve to live in peace under a democratic system.  Let us all continue working together, as a united international community, to end their suffering and help them build a future that meets their legitimate and strongly felt aspirations.

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For information media • not an official record