UNA Sweden defends Sweden’s actions in Libya: The UN has an obligation to protect civilians
30 May 2011
An article from Swedish news source, Svenska Dagbladet, entitled Swedish military should leave Libya argued on 31 May that Sweden should withdraw its military contribution to the Libya mission. Criticizing R2P, it stated that behind the principle are powerful states such as the USA and that the risk of misuse is large. It also stated that, according to several experts, the Libyan mission is in contradiction to the precaution criteria saying that force should be used only as a last resort, when all peaceful means have been exhausted and only when international peace is under threat. According to the article, this was not the case in Libya and the mission is therefore in breach of international law.
In response, UNA Sweden submitted an article to Svenska Dagbladet entitled The UN has an obligation to protect civilians defending the value of the R2P norm and underlining that it was agreed on with broad support from all regions and represents a much needed change of mindset after the atrocities witnessed in the 1990s. “The problem is not that too much is done for populations under threat but that too little is done by the member states, in terms of prevention, as well as action and peacebuilding”. UNA Sweden has also many times underlined the need for humanitarian aid to Libya, says UNA president Aleksander Gabelic.
To read the criticism (in Swedish)
Read the UNA-Sweden response (in Swedish)