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Libya/adoption of UNSCR 2016

Published on November 2, 2011
Statements to the press by France’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations¹

New York, October 27, 2011

M. ARAUD – Today, we are completing a sequence which started with the vote on UNSCR 1973, when the international community decided to act to prevent Gaddafi from slaughtering his own people.

During the seven months which followed, we have seen dramatic events where the Libyan people have succeeded in freeing themselves, with the support of NATO.

The government of Libya announced on 23 October the liberation of the Libyan territory. So it was perfectly logical to decide to put an end to the authorization of the use of force.

First, NATO announced that it would put an end to the use of force on 31 October; subsequently, on the generic end to the authorization of the use of force, the Security Council has done it today.

It is a very important stage which finishes today, which was basically the liberation of Libya with the support of all the countries which wanted to be part of this magnificent endeavour.

As the French Ambassador to the United Nations, I should say we are particularly proud of having been, since the beginning, on the side of the Libyan people fighting Gaddafi.

Now a new stage has started. We have to help the Libyan people, our Libyan friends, to rebuild their country. Libya is a very proud country. They will do it by themselves. They told us so and we respect their will. But of course, as the UN, as France, we are ready to help them as much as they request our help, to prepare, to organize institutions, a constitution and so on…

As I said, it is the end of a stage, a stage that we are particularly proud of – we, the UN and the countries which have risked the lives of their soldiers.

Q. – On what Ambassador Churkin just said about the fact that sometimes some countries may have violated the terms of UNSCR 1973, either by dropping weapons or having troops on the ground, what is your response to that?

M. ARAUD – Let the historians decide. As for dropping weapons, a lot of countries considered that the OP4 of UNSCR 1973 allowed in some cases the dropping of weapons.

Q. – Since the Libyan case is over, when do you think it will be the right time to try again to do something on the Syrian front?

M. ARAUD – Unfortunately I am not in a position to give you an answer. I think you have to ask the countries which opposed their veto to the resolution we have presented. We are all appalled by what is happening in Syria. Thousands of people have been killed and every day we see dozens of people being killed. All the promises of reform by the Syrian government went simply nowhere.

I think we will have the right to ask these countries which opposed our proposal: “What is your alternative? What is working?” Again, we have to wait, but maybe at some moment we will come back to the Security Council. For the moment we are supporting the Arab League, but there is not a lot of hope of success of this initiative. So maybe next week we will be in a better position to see what we could and should do.

Q. – On Yemen, your past resolution seems to be based on the GCC initiative, which seems to provide immunity for Saleh and his family.

M. ARAUD – No, it is [only] “based upon”: the words have a sense for diplomats and if we chose “based upon” it was precisely to say that the GCC initiative was the only political framework we could rely on. I had the opportunity to explain this to Ms Karman. I do understand her reaction and I respect it. There are also elements in the resolution calling for accountability and saying there will not be impunity./.

(1) M. Araud spoke in English.

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