26 February 2011 - Security Council - Libya - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Yesterday the Permanent Representative of Libya made to this Council a moving appeal for assistance. France welcomes the fact that the Council has today unanimously and forcefully responded to that appeal.
In the face of the continued brutal and bloody repression and the threatening statements made by the Libyan leadership, the Security Council has reiterated its demand for an immediate stop to the use of force against the civilian population. As the High Commissioner for Human Rights said, and as recalled in resolution 1970 (2011), crimes against humanity may be being committed in Libya. That is why we have decided to refer the matter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court so that he can initiate an investigation and so that the Court might judge thee principals responsible for crimes. Today, faced with the atrocities we have seen, impunity is no longer an option. The International Criminal Court in this matter once again finds justification for its existence.
We have also decided to impose an embargo on arms — the arms that President Al-Qadhafi has chosen to turn against his own people. We have, finally, decided to sanction the individuals who are at the head of a regime that has chosen to commit atrocities.
The text, unanimously adopted today, recalls the responsibility of each State to protect its own population and of the international community to intervene when States fail in their duty. We hope that the responsible parties of the Libyan regime will hear the message of the international community and put an end to the unacceptable violence committed against their own people, who have the right to democracy, freedom and justice.
A wind of liberty has arisen south of the Mediterranean. The Security Council had to meet this date with history on the side of the Libyan people. That is the historic significance of the vote this evening — a vote that we hope will open, beyond Libya, a new era for the international community as a whole.