Turtle Bay

Lebanon, Britain, France call for U.N. no-fly zone, authorization of force, to protect Libyan civilians and foreign nationals

Lebanon, Britain and France on Tuesday introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that would grant sweeping authority to states to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and use "all necessary measures," including military force, to protect civilians and grant access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, according to a confidential draft of the resolution ...

Lebanon, Britain and France on Tuesday introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that would grant sweeping authority to states to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and use "all necessary measures," including military force, to protect civilians and grant access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, according to a confidential draft of the resolution obtained by Turtle Bay.

The draft would require states to notify U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before taking action to protection civilians. The initiative, which emphasizes the role of the Arab League in the effort, received a cool reception from several council members, including China, Russia, India, and Germany, which argued that they need to hear far more about the details of the plan before proceeding to a vote.

The draft resolution would also reinforce an arms embargo on Libya and tighten a travel ban and financial sanctions recently imposed on Muammar al-Qaddafi, his relatives, and other close associates. It also calls for the establishment of a panel of up to eight experts to monitor enforcement of the sanctions.

Lebanon’s U.N. ambassador, Nawaf Salam, said tonight that his government, in cooperation with Libya’s renegade U.N. mission, wrote the provisions in the draft establishing the no-fly zone, while Britain and France took the lead in drafting the provisions that call for "strengthening and widening of sanctions [recently] imposed on Libya." The sanctions provisions are considered far less controversial than the no-fly zone, and have secured broader support in the council.

Here are the resolution’s key provisions.

*Acting Under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

*Demands an immediate end to attacks on the civilian population and reiterates its call for steps to fulfil the legitimate demands of the Libyan people.

*Demands that the Qaddafi regime comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance. 

*Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahariya in order to help protect civilians. [There is an exemption for humanitarian flights or flights used to evacuate foreign nationals.]

*Authorizes Member States to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights … and to prevent any use of aircraft for aerial attacks against the civilian population, and requests the States concerned in cooperation with the League of Arab States to coordinate closely with the Secretary General on the measures they are taking to implement this ban.

*Calls upon all Member States and regional organizations to provide assistance, including any necessary over-flight approvals.

*Authorizes members of the League of Arab States and other States which have notified the secretary general, who are acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting with the cooperation with the Secretary General, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian objects in the Libyan Arab Jamahariya, and to make available humanitarian and related assistance.

*Decides that all States shall deny permission to any Libyan commercial aircraft, including Libyan Air, to take off from, land in or land in their territory unless the particular flight has been approved in advance by [a U.N. Security Council] committee.

*Affirms that assets frozen pursuant to resolution 1970(2011) and this resolution must be made available to and for the benefit of the Libyan people.

Follow me on Twitter @columlynch

Colum Lynch is a senior staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @columlynch

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