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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Security Council

26 February 2011

Remarks to the Security Council on Libya

Madame President,
Distinguished Members of the Council,

Let me express my appreciation to the Security Council for its work today.

I welcome the resolution you have just adopted unanimously. While it cannot, by itself, end the violence and the repression, it is a vital step, a clear expression of the will of a united community of nations.

The actions taken by the regime in Libya are clear cut violations of all norms governing international behaviour and serious transgressions of international human rights and humanitarian law. They are unacceptable. It is of great importance that the Council in response has reached the consensus and is determined to uphold its responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security.

When I addressed this Council yesterday, I noted that fundamental issues of peace and stability are at stake across the Arab world, and that our collective challenge is how to provide real protection and halt the ongoing violence. I urged you to consider all options for action. You have now done so, in a wide-ranging resolution.

The text sends a strong message that gross violations of basic human rights will not be tolerated, and that those responsible for grave crimes will be held accountable. I hope the message is heard, and heeded, by the regime in Libya. I hope it will also bring hope and relief to those still at risk. The sanctions you have imposed are a necessary step to speed the transition to a new system of governance that will have the consent and participation of the people.

For my part, I will continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in close touch with world and regional leaders to ensure their support for swift and concrete international action.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my solidarity with the people of Libya as they brave the bloodshed and as they cope with possible shortages of food and medical supplies and other humanitarian impacts. As the Libyan people take their destiny into their hands, as is their right, I hope that the new future for which they yearn, peaceful, prosperous and democratic, will soon be theirs.


I commend the Security Council for its decisive action today. In the days ahead, we will look for similarly decisive steps from the UN General Assembly and the international community as a whole.

Today's measures are tough. In the coming days, if needed even bolder action may become necessary.

Thank you.