What's In Blue

Posted Thu 27 Oct 2011

Libya Resolution Adoption

This morning (27 October) the Council appears set to adopt a resolution terminating the provisions of resolution 1973 allowing the use of force to protect civilians and ensuring the no-fly zone, effectively ending the Council’s authorisation for the NATO military operation in Libya on 31 October 2011.

The resolution that is likely to be adopted today is a UK draft expanding on the Russian text which was circulated to Council members on Friday(21 October). This draft, which took into consideration the desire of some members to approach this issue in a more comprehensive manner, was shared with the P5 members on Tuesday(25 October) and with the wider membership yesterday. It was then put in blue yesterday evening.

Besides terminating the protection of civilians and no-fly zone provisions of resolution 1973, the resolution also emphasises the need for the establishment of an inclusive, representative transitional government of Libya and for there to be a commitment to democracy, good governance, rule of law, national reconciliation and human rights. It also covers the need to refrain from reprisals and the importance of the protection of the Libyan population.

It appears that some members like Russia and China were particularly keen to terminate the provisions in 1973 as soon as possible. It seems that these members felt that the no-fly zone should end before NATO’s provisional 31 October deadline and most of the other members appear to have been open to this date.

The Council appears to have been receiving contradictory signals from the National Transitional Council (NTC). It received two letters from the NTC on 25 and 26 October, the former requesting the Council to take the necessary action to terminate the provisions of the protection of civilians and no-fly zone and the latter indicating that the NTC needed more time for the continued implementation of the mandate given by 1973. The same day the second letter was received, Libyan Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi stated during the Council’s briefing on Libya that the NTC was looking forward to the Council terminating the no-fly zone and other provisions in 1973 and that the 31 October NATO provisional deadline seemed like a logical time to do it. However, he also requested the Council to wait for an official decision from the NTC before adopting a resolution.

During the 26 October Libya briefing, the Council also heard from Ian Martin, head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (USMIL), who highlighted preparations for elections, establishment of public security and non-proliferation of weapons, in particular, Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS), as issues of concern.

Sign up for What's In Blue emails