The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack against the embassy of France in Tripoli, Libya, resulting in several injuries and severe damage. They expressed their deep sympathy to the families of the victims of this heinous act.
The members of the Security Council condemned again all acts of violence against diplomatic representatives, which endanger innocent lives and seriously impede the normal work of such representatives and officials.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and all obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring the perpetrators of these acts to justice.
The members of the Security Council recalled the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises, and the obligations on host Governments, including under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to take all appropriate steps to protect diplomatic and consular premises against any intrusion or damage, and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of these missions or impairment of their dignity, and to prevent any attack on diplomatic agents and consular officers.
The members of the Security Council recalled the durable commitment of the international community to support Libya’s successful transition to a peaceful and prosperous democracy.
On 14 November 2013, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, presented to the Security Council her sixth report on the implementation of Resolution 1970.
The Prosecutor welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on task sharing between the Court and the Libyan authorities. She indicated that she was continuing her investigation into allegations of crimes committed by Gaddafi’s relatives. The adoption of the new Syrian law on transitional justice and the establishment of a “fact-finding and reconciliation Commission” may address other allegations of crimes. She welcomed reports on a new Libyan draft law recognizing rape as a “war crime”. Finally, she encouraged the Libyan authorities to implement the law adopted on April 2013 criminalizing torture, enforced disappearance and discrimination in order to remind the armed groups that the fight against impunity also applied to them.
In his statement, the Representative of France welcomed the work carried out by the Office of the ICC Prosecutor and reaffirmed its support to it. He also welcomed the determination of the Libyan authorities to pursue the democratization of the country and to assume their responsibilities. The Representative of France also reaffirmed its support to the Prosecutor’s investigation regarding allegations of crimes committed by members of Gadhafi’s entourage. He welcomed the work carried out to end crimes and impunity in Libya. He nonetheless expressed concerns about the practice of torture and cases of deaths in custody in centers controlled by the armed Brigades. Finally, he recalled that Resolution 1970 was an example of the capacity to unite and the responsiveness of the Security Council.
On 4 November 2013, Mr. Tarek Mitri, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), briefed by VTC the Security Council on the implementation of resolution 2017 concerning the proliferation of weapons and related materials coming from Libyan arsenals.
The Representative of France recalled that assistance to secure stockpiles of munitions and conventional weapons was fully within UN Support Mission in Libya’s mandate. He encouraged all actors on the ground to coordinate their action to render it more operational. In particular, there was a need to encourage Libya to continue cooperating with the IAEA and to request necessary international assistance in order to secure Libyan concentrated uranium.
On 4 October 2013, the Security Council adopted a press statement condemning the attack against the Russian Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, on 2 October, which resulted in intrusions into the diplomatic premises, causing serious damage.
On 16 September 2013, Mr. Tarek Mitri, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), presented the recent political, security and economic developments of the country to members of the Security Council. Mr. Mitri deplored the interruption of Libyan oil exports, which structurally destabilizes the Libyan economy (oil representing 90% of Libya’s GDP). He reported many cases of deaths in custody, torture and ill-treatments in prison centers. He also urged all parties to stop manipulating the country’s financial and natural resources for political purposes.
As the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee on Libya (1970 Committee), the Permanent Representative of Rwanda welcomed the concrete steps taken by the Libyan authorities in order to ensure the effective implementation of the arms embargo.
During the consultations that followed, the representative of France deplored the persistence of security problems at the borders of Libya, which could benefit terrorist groups of the Sahel region. He also condemned the recent attacks targeting foreign diplomatic institutions. He also called for a reinforcement of the state-building capabilities of UNSMIL, so that the operation can give its full support to the establishment of a Libyan justice and the rule of law.
On 18 June 2013, Mr. Tarek Mitri, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), presented to the Security Council the recent developments of the political and security transition in Libya. He welcomed the improvements registered since the beginning of the transition in 2011, but nevertheless deplored the recent adoption of the Libya’s political isolation law voted on 5 May 2013. He also stated that persistent difficulties in both the construction of the rule of law as in border security management remained a concern and required the full support from the international community to the Libyan authorities.
Following the debate, the Security Council adopted a press statement.
On 13 May 2013, the Security Council adopted a press statement condemning the deadly attack in Benghazi and urging all States to cooperate with the Libyan authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.
On 8 May 2013, Ms Fatou Bensouda, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, presented to the Security Council its fifth report on the implementation of resolution 1970. Following the request of the Libyan authorities to judge by themselves former Libyan leaders, the ICC had to decide whether the trials of Saïf al-Islam and Abdallah al-Senoussi fell within the competence of the Court or of the Libyan authorities. Nevertheless, wherever these trials would take place, ICC Prosecutor underlined that they were a "shining example" of the fight against impunity and the complementarity between the Court and national justice systems.
In his statement, the representative of France called upon the Security Council to deepen its cooperation with the Court and reaffirmed its support to the Prosecutor’s investigation regarding allegations of sexual crimes committed by members of Al-Qadhafi’s entourage, who might have fled the country.
The complete timeline of events here.
On 26 February 2011, the Security Council adopted unanimously resolution 1970, which establishes an arms embargo, imposes individual sanctions (travel band, assets freeze) and refers the case to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Resolution 1970 of 26 February 2011:
— refers the situation in Libya since 15 February 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court;
— Imposes an embargo on weapons to Libya;
— Imposes a travel ban and an assets freeze on Muammar Gaddafi, several members of his family and senior officials of the regime (it creates a sanctions committee to that effect);
— Calls on member States to work together to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Libya.
The Security Council also makes a clear reference to the responsibility to protect.
In his statement after the vote, Gérard Araud, permanent representative of France said: "A wind of freedom is blowing south of the Mediterranean. The Security Council had to seize this historical moment next to the Libyan people."
Gérard Araud made remarks to press after the meeting.
On 17 March 2011, the Security Council, in the presence of Mr Alain Juppé, "ministre d’Etat", Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, adopted resolution 1973 with 10 votes in favour (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, France, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States) and 5 abstentions (Brasil, China, Germany, India, and Russia).
"With this resolution, we are giving ourselves the means to protect the civilian population.
— First, by authorizing the establishment of a no-fly zone and authorizing members of the Arab League and member states that wish to do so, to take the necessary measures to its implementation.
— Then by authorizing these States to take on top on the no-fly zone, all necessary measures to protect the populations and the territories, including Benghazi, which are under the threat of an attack by the forces of the Qaddafi regime.
— Finally, this resolution makes it possible to strengthen sanctions against the Qaddafi regime, whether it be with respect to the arms embargo, the moratorium on oil revenues, or the prohibition of certain financial transactions."
Alain Juppé, 17 March 2011, Security Council
Before the vote on the resolution, the Minister made a statement in which he said: "We are running out of time. It is a matter of days, maybe a matter of hours. With every day, every hour that passes, the forces of repression are clamping down on civilian populations in quest of freedom, in particular the population of Benghazi. Every day, every hour that passes increases the weight of responsibility that weighs on our shoulders. Let us not be too late! The honour of the Security Council will be upheld if in Libya we make sure that law prevails against force, democracy against dictatorship, freedom against oppression".
See also the statement of the spokeperson of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs announcing the Minister’s visit to New York.
On 15 February 2011, riots broke out in Benghazi, the second largest city in Libya. In the days that followed, the movement spread and grew, despite a brutal crackdown. The army drove back the demonstrators with live ammunition; reports also claimed the use of heavy weapons in Benghazi. Human Rights Watch reported on 21 February that at least 233 people had died in the country.
The violence perpetrated against the demonstrators was widely condemned. On 23 February, President Sarkozy declared that "France again calls for an immediate end to the violence in Libya and urges the leaders of this country to immediately engage in a political dialogue in order to put an end to the ongoing tragedy" (read the statements made by the French authorities).
On 21 February, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, spoke on the telephone with Muammar Gaddafi. He urged Colonel Gaddafi to put an end to the violence against the demonstrators and to respect “fundamental freedoms and human rights, including the right of free assembly and the right to information.”
On 22 February, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navenethem Pillay, mentioned possible crimes against humanity and demanded an “immediate halt to the serious human rights violations perpetrated by the Libyan authorities.” The UN demanded that an independent international inquiry be opened.
Mr. Dabbashi, Deputy Ambassador of the Libyan Mission to the UN, disassociated himself from the regime along with several colleagues of the Libyan mission on Monday, 21 February 2011 in a statement to the press. He sent a letter to the Security Council on 21 February on behalf of the Permanent Representation of Libya to the UN, asking for “an urgent meeting of the Security Council in order to discuss the grave situation in Libya and to take appropriate action.”
On 22 February 2011 the Security Council held an emergency meeting in a private format (open to UN member states and observers only) under the agenda item "Peace and Security in Africa", to listen to a report by the Secretariat (Lynn Pascoe, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs) and the Permanent Representative of Libya to the UN. The Council then met in private consultations. After the meeting, the president of the Security Council made the following press statement:
The members of the Security Council welcomed the statement issued by the League of Arab States on 22 February 2011.
The members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at the situation in Libya. They condemned the violence and use of force against civilians, deplored the repression against peaceful demonstrators and expressed deep regret at the deaths of hundreds of civilians. They called for an immediate end to violence and for steps to address the legitimate demands of the population, including through national dialogue.
The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Libya to meet its responsibility to protect its population. They called upon the Libyan authorities to act with restraint, to respect human rights and international humanitarian law, and to allow immediate access for international human rights monitors and humanitarian agencies.
The members of the Security Council called for international humanitarian assistance to the people of Libya and expressed concern at the reports of shortages of medical supplies to treat the wounded. They strongly urged the Libyan authorities to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian and medical supplies and humanitarian workers into the country.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need for the government of Libya to respect the freedom of peaceful assembly and of expression, including freedom of the press. They called for the immediate lifting of restrictions on all forms of the media.
The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of accountability. They underscored the need to hold those responsible for attacks, including by forces under their control, on civilians.
The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern about the safety of foreign nationals in Libya. They urged the Libyan authorities and all relevant parties to ensure the safety of all foreign nationals and facilitate the departure of those wishing to leave the country.
The members of the Security Council will continue to follow the situation closely."
The Security Council met in a formal session on 25 February to hear a briefing of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the situation in Libya. The permanent representative of Libya, Mr Shalgam, also addressed the Council, disassociating himself completely from Colonel Gaddafi. The Security Council then met in private consultations to examine a draft sanctions resolution. After the meeting, the president of the Security Council made the following statement:
The members of the Security Council reiterated the need for the Libyan authorities to ensure the safety of all foreign nationals and to facilitate the departure of those wishing to leave the country.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the strong positions taken by the League of Arab States and the African Union.
The members of the Security Council agreed to consider urgently a draft Security Council resolution including specific, targeted measures aimed at putting an end to violence, helping achieve a peaceful solution to the current crisis, ensuring accountability and respecting the will of the Libyan people.
With this in mind the Security Council decided to meet tomorrow morning."
Gerard Araud, permanent representative of France, made remarks to the press after the meeting.
The Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted on 25 February 2011 a resolution recommending to the UN General Assembly the supsension of Libya (member of the organization since May 2010) from its ranks and deciding to dispatch an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the violations of international human rights committed by Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, which could be regarded as "crimes against humanity". The resolution was proposed by the European Union and was adopted by consensus by the 47 Council members.. The UN General Assembly is the only body empowered to order such a suspension by a two third majority (under Article 8 of resolution 60/251 on the functioning of the Human Rights Council).
On 26 February, the Security Council adopted resolution 1970.
On 1 March 2011, the General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution suspending Libya from the Human Rights Council in Geneva. France co-sponsored the resolution along with 72 Member States (including all EU Member States). This resolution followed a resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 25 February recommending that the UNGA consider such a suspension. Only the UNGA can suspend a member of the Council of Human Rights (by consensus or a two-thirds majority) in cases of gross and systematic violations of human rights. This is the first time such a suspension has occurred.
On 10 March, France recognised the National Transitional Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
On 14 March 2011, the Security Council met in private consultations to discuss "The situation in Libya", following the Arab League statement on 12 March calling on "the Security Council to bear its responsibilities towards the deteriorating situation in Libya, and to take the necessary measures to impose immediately a no-fly zone on Libyan military aviation, and to establish safe areas in places exposed to shelling as a precautionary measure that allows the protection of the Libyan people and foreign nationals residing in Libya, while respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighboring States."
Before the meeting, Ambassador Araud said to the press: “France and the UK have been in favor of a no-fly zone for some time. So now that there is this Arab League statement we do hope that it is a game-changer for the other members of the Council.” He said after the meeting that a draft resolution would be presented to members of the Council in view of its adoption "as soon as possible". "We are moving forward", he added. "The problem for us is the urgency. The Qaddafi forces are moving forward. We would prefer to act as soon as possible. We would prefer that our partners on the Security Council would have the same sense of urgency we have."
On 15 March 2011, the Security Council met in consultations during which a new draft resolution was introduced, which would include a no-fly zone.
Before the meeting, Ambassador Araud said to the press: "We are deeply distressed by the fact that the things are worsening on the ground, that the Kadhafi forces are moving forward extremely quickly and that this council has not yet reacted. So my authorities would want to move as quickly as possible to have a resolution in this Council. So it means for us in the very coming days. We want a resolution. We want to respond to what the Arab League has requested, already three or four days ago."
16 March 2011: the Security Council met in private consultations to discuss a draft for a new resolution on Libya. France asked that the Security Council vote on the resolution the following day.
On 17 March 2011, the Security Council adopted resolution 1973 authorizing member states to take all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya.
On 19 March 2011, France launched Operation "Harmattan" and attacked pro-Khadafi forces moving on Benghazi in defense of its population. On 31 March, military operations to protect civilians came under the command of NATO and were named "Unified Protector".
On 16 September, the credentials of the CNT appointed representatives of Libya were accepted by the United Nations General Assembly. The Security Council adopted resolution 2009, which created UNMIL, a political mission with a mandate to assist the new Libyan authorities in the reconstruction of institutions and which partially lifted the financial sanctions on Libya.
On 20 October 2011, the Libyan authorities announced the capture and death of Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte.
On 23 October 2011, the National Transition Council proclaimed the liberation of Libya.
On 27 October 2011, following the proclamation of the liberation of Libya by its new authorities and the subsequent announcement by NATO that it would put an end to its operations, the Security Council adopted resolution 2016, lifting the no-fly zone and the authorization to resort to force.
Read all the statements made by the French authorities on the situation in Libya on the website of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
In New York
14 November 2013 - Security Council - Libya/ICC report - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
8 May 2013 - Security Council - Libya/ICC report - Statement by Mr Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
7 November 2012 - Security Council - Libya/Report of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court - Statement by Mr Martin Briens, chargé d’Affaires a.i. of France to the United Nations
16 May 2012 - Security Council - Libya/ICC report - Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent representative of France to the United Nations
All French Statements in New York here
23 October 2011 - Declaration of Libya’s liberation by the National Transitional Council – Statement by Mr. Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
19 March 2011 - Paris summit for the support of the Libyan people
18 June 2013 - Security Council - Press Statement.
13 May 2013 - Security Council - Press Statement - on deadly attack in Benghazi
23 April 2013 - Security Council - Press Statement - Attack against the French Embassy in Tripoli
14 March 2013 - Security Council - Resolution 2095, extending for one year UNSMIL mandate.
10 July 2012 - Security Council Press statement on Libya elections
12 March 2012 - Resolution 2040 extending the mandate of UNMIL for a period of 12 months
31 October 2011 - Resolution 2017 - On proliferation of arms in Libya
27 October 2011 - Resolution 2016 - lifting the no-fly zone and the authorization provided by resolution 1973 to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of civilian populations
19 September 2011 - Resolution 2009 allowing the creation of a United Nations mission in Libya.
19 March 2011 - Paris Summit for the support to the Libyan people - Final Communique
17 March 2011 - Resolution 1973
1 March 2011, General Assembly - Resolution 65/265 - Suspension of the rights of membership of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in the Human Rights Council
26 February 2011 - Resolution 1970