Switzerland acknowledges the UN Security Council resolution on Libya

Bern, Press release, 03.05.2011

Switzerland is keeping a close watch on the suffering of the people of Libya. It acknowledges the resolution adopted yesterday by the United Nations Security Council, which provides for a no-fly zone over Libya and other measures, and hopes that rapid implementation of the UN resolution will bring an end to the suffering of the defenceless civilian population in Libya.

The resolution, which was adopted yesterday at the UN headquarters in New York by ten votes with five abstentions, contains the demand for an immediate cease-fire and authorises the international community to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya. In particular, it includes the provision for establishing a no-fly zone over Libya.

Switzerland acknowledges the will of the Security Council members to unite in view of the violence being perpetrated against the Libyan civilian population and the impending humanitarian disaster. It sees the resolution as a positive measure that creates the necessary conditions to enable the international community to bring an end to the suffering of the Libyan civilian population which has no means of defence. Switzerland hopes that the resolution will be rapidly implemented. 

Switzerland condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of force against civilian populations authorised by governments with no democratic legitimacy, and it demands that those responsible be brought to justice. In particular, serious abuses of power which are not appropriately dealt with by a domestic court must be taken before an international tribunal.  

Switzerland is helping alleviate the emergency situation of the people in Libya and in other countries. The Humanitarian Aid of the Swiss Confederation (SHA) is focusing especially on threatened minorities and groups with special needs for protection. Since the end of February 2011, three humanitarian relief teams have been deployed to the Libyan borders with Tunisia and Egypt. At the same time, the SHA has given financial support to several international organisations active in the area, including the ICRC, IOM, OCHA, with more than CHF 2 million to date. 

The SHA is planning to deploy two "kits" of emergency medical equipment and infrastructure to Libya, each catering for the needs of 10,000 individuals for three months. The hostilities in the east of Libya and the precarious security situation have rendered this impossible so far. The SHA also plans to send a portable water "module" that is capable of supplying 5,000 people with drinking water in an emergency situation.     

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