United Nations: As
the Security Council authorised the use of force in Libya, India
abstained from the vote out of a concern that the measures may not
worsen the Libyan people's woes.
"We had to ensure that the measures will mitigate and not
exacerbate an already difficult situation for the people of
Libya," India's Deputy Permanent Representative Manjeev Singh Puri
said in explanation of its vote.
"Clarity in the resolution on any spill-over affects of these
measures would have been very important," he said.
India, Brazil China, Germany and Russia abstained as the 15-nation
council voted 10-0 Thursday to authorise a no-fly zone banning
flights in Libya's airspace and authorised military action to
implement the ban. But the Council explicitly ruled out any
occupation force in Libya.
The measure was backed by Bosnia, Colombia, France, Gabon,
Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, Britain and the US.
China and Russia are permanent members of the Council and their
abstentions allowed the resolution to be adopted. If they had cast
a negative vote, or a veto, the resolution would have been killed.
The three other permanent members with veto power, the US, France
and Britain, voted in favour.
Puri said India has been following with serious concern the
developments in Libya, which have led to loss of numerous lives
and injuries to many more and deplores "the use of force, which is
totally unacceptable, and must not be resorted to."
Noting that the UN Secretary-General has appointed a Special
Envoy, who has just visited Libya, he said his report would have
given us an objective analysis of the situation on ground.
Stressing "the importance of political efforts, including those of
the Secretary-General's Special Envoy, to address the situation,"
he noted the African Union is also sending a High Level Panel to
Libya to make serious efforts for a peaceful end to the crisis
The resolution that the Council has adopted today authorises far
reaching measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter with
relatively little credible information on the situation on the
ground in Libya," Puri said.
Pointing out that there is no "clarity about details of
enforcement measures, including who and with what assets will
participate and how these measures will be exactly carried out,"
he said it was "very important that there is full respect for
sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Libya."
The financial measures that are proposed in the resolution could
impact, directly or through indirect routes, ongoing trade and
investment activities of a number of member-states thereby
adversely affecting the economic interests of the Libyan people
and others dependent on these trade and economic ties, Puri said,
At the same time the envoy re-emphasised that "India continues to
be gravely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian
situation in Libya and calls on the Libyan authorities to cease
fire, protect the civilian population and address the legitimate
demands of the Libyan people."
The Security Council resolution effectively authorises the use of
force in Libya to protect civilians from attack, specifically in
the eastern city of Benghazi, which Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi has
reportedly said he will storm Thursday night to end a revolt
against his regime.
Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides for the
use of force if needed, the resolution authorises member states
"to take all necessary measures... to protect civilians and
civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab
Jamhariya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation
Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the
escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties, the
Council established a no-fly zone, banning all flights - except
those for humanitarian purposes - in Libyan airspace in order to
help protect civilians.