Security Council Approves “No-Fly Zone” Over Libya, Authorizing “All Necessary Measures” to Protect Civilians, By Vote of 10 in Favour with 5 Abstentions
UN Security Council
17 March 2011
(…) Demanding an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to the current attacks against civilians, which it said might constitute “crimes against humanity”, the Security Council this evening imposed a ban on all flights in the country’s airspace — a no-fly zone — and tightened sanctions on the Qadhafi regime and its supporters.
Adopting resolution 1973 (2011) by a vote of 10 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russian Federation), the Council authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory — requesting them to immediately inform the Secretary-General of such measures.
Recognizing the important role of the League of Arab States in the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, and bearing in mind the United Nations Charter’s Chapter VIII, the Council asked the League’s member States to cooperate with other Member States in implementing the no-fly zone.
The Council stressed the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis that responded to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people, noting actions being taken on the diplomatic front in that regard. It further demanded that Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance.
In that connection, the Council specified that the flight ban would not apply to flights that had as their sole purpose humanitarian aid, the evacuation of foreign nationals, enforcing the ban or other purposes “deemed necessary for the benefit of the Libyan people”.
It further decided that all States should deny permission to any Libyan commercial aircraft to land in or take off from their territory unless a particular flight had been approved in advance by the committee that was established to monitor sanctions imposed by resolution 1970 (2011).
In tightening the asset freeze and arms embargo established by that resolution, the Council this evening further detailed conditions for inspections of transport suspected to be violating the embargo, requesting States enforcing the embargo to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General on the measures they were taking towards implementation.
It requested the Secretary-Secretary to create an eight-member panel of experts to assist the Security Council committee in monitoring the sanctions. (…)