Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at press encounter at UN Headquarters

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 22 August 2011

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to see you again.

The dramatic scenes we are witnessing in Tripoli, Libya are a testament to the courage and determination of the Libyan people to seek a free and democratic future.

It is crucial now for the conflict to end with no further loss of life and retribution.

I welcome the assurances given by the Chairman of the National Transitional Council, Mr. Mustafa Abdul Jallil, that extreme care would be taken to protect people and public institutions, and to maintain law and order.

I call on Colonel Qadhafi's forces to cease violence immediately, and make way for a smooth transition.

The international community will continue to do its part to protect civilians from harm.

I have been in touch with the Chairperson of the African Union, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security and other world leaders.

Later today I will contact the President of the Security Council and P-5 members of the Security Council.

I intend to hold an urgent meeting this week among the heads of regional and international organizations, including the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the European Union.

My Special Envoy, Mr. Abdel Elah Al-Khatib, has been in close contact with the leadership of the NTC and will continue his efforts. He and my Special Advisor on Post Conflict Planning, Ian Martin, will travel to Doha to meet with the leadership of the NTC.

The United Nations stands ready to extend all possible assistance to the Libyan people.

For the past several months, Ian Martin has been working to ensure that the United Nations is ready to respond to requests Libya may make for post-conflict assistance.

The United Nations is now prepared to assist in all vital areas, including security and the rule of law; socio-economic recovery; constitution-making and the electoral process; human rights and transitional justice; and coordination of support from Libya's neighbours and the international community.

It will be crucial for the Security Council to be as responsive to post-conflict planning and needs, as it has been throughout the crisis.

We must also ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need.

This is a hopeful moment, but there are risks ahead. Now is the time for all Libyans to focus on national unity, reconciliation and inclusiveness.

I am determined to ensure that the United Nations does everything it can to promote an orderly transition that responds to the aspirations of the Libyan people for peace, democracy and opportunity.

Thank you very much, I will be happy to answer your questions.