United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in the United Kingdom on Tuesday morning, 29 March, to address the International Conference on Libya taking place that day in London.
He told the leaders and foreign ministers gathered at Lancaster House that, although decisive and swift action by the international community saved thousands of lives, air operations, alone, would not resolve the crisis. Nor would it bring about a political solution that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people.
He said that his Special Envoy, Abdul Ilah al-Khatib, would return to Libya shortly, to meet both with leaders of the Government and the opposition.
The Secretary-General said that fast-moving developments on the ground require looking ahead. Soon, he said, Libya’s people would have to re-engage with each other. “Our long-term interest is to help them do so,” he added, “focusing on the establishment of transitional arrangements that would meet the democratic aspirations of the Libyan people”. See Press ReleaseSG/SM/13485.
During the day on Tuesday, the Secretary-General held meetings with Lady Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security; Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar; Alain Juppé, Foreign Minister of France; Hoshyar Zebari, Foreign Minister of Iraq; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); Andrew Mitchell, Member of Parliament, Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom; and Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Minister of Turkey.
On Wednesday morning, the Secretary-General travelled onward to Nairobi, where he would chair the twice-yearly meeting of the Chief Executives Board, which brings together the heads of the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system.