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France/Libya/UNSCR 1973

Published on March 21, 2011
Statements issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Spokesperson (excerpts)

Paris, March 18, 2011

Adoption by the United Nations Security Council of UNSCR 1973 on the situation in Libya

France welcomes United Nations Security Council resolution 1973, which unequivocally authorizes the use of force to protect civilian populations in Libya. This resolution, adopted on 17 March 2011, was drafted and presented on the initiative of France, together with the United Kingdom, Lebanon and the United States.

The adoption of this resolution results from a strong commitment on the part of French diplomacy.

On the eve of the vote, President Sarkozy sent a personal letter to the heads of State and government of the Security Council Member States to solemnly urge them to shoulder their full responsibilities and support this resolution, at a time when the Libyan population is in grave danger.

Alain Juppé is the only minister who went to New York in order – through a major initiative at the Security Council – to persuade the Member States of the Council and secure the votes necessary for the adoption of the resolution.

Although the Security Council had sent a strong message to Colonel Gaddafi through UNSCR 1970, the violence perpetrated against the civilian population only grew fiercer. The prospect of an imminent massacre required the urgent adoption of this resolution. As the Ministre d’Etat stressed to the Security Council, “we can’t abandon civilian populations suffering brutal repression to their fate.”

This resolution provides the international community with the means, including military means, to protect the Libyan civilian population:
- it allows the establishment of a no-fly zone and authorizes those Arab League members and [UN] Member States who so wish to take the necessary measures to implement it;

- it authorizes those Member States to take all necessary measures, in addition to the no-fly zone, to protect the population and territories, including Benghazi, which are under threat of an attack by the Gaddafi regime’s forces;

- it strengthens the sanctions adopted against this regime, whether it be by implementing the arms embargo, freezing the assets of the Tripoli authorities or banning flights by Libyan airlines.

This is a real achievement for the Libyan population, the United Nations and the Arab League.

The message of this resolution to the Gaddafi regime is unequivocal; the Gaddafi regime must face all the consequences.

France will participate, with those of her partners who so wish – particularly her Arab partners – in those military operations that are necessary. (…)/.

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