There Is 'No Impunity' for Crimes against Humanity, Secretary-General Says
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's remarks to the General Assembly on Libya, today, 1 March, in New York:
I welcome this opportunity to brief the General Assembly on the latest developments in Libya.
We meet today on a crisis marked by ongoing violence, amid a growing humanitarian emergency and a political situation that could quickly deteriorate further.
Meeting in emergency session over the weekend, the Security Council acted with unanimity and decisiveness. I welcome, as well, the strong statements from many international leaders and organizations -- the League of Arab States, the African Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the European Union.
The world has spoken with one voice: we demand an immediate end to the violence against civilians and full respect for their fundamental human rights, including those of peaceful assembly and free speech.
I welcome, as well, the recommendation of the Human Rights Council to suspend Libya's membership so long as the violence continues. And I fully support the Council's decision to urgently dispatch an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged violations of international human rights in Libya.
In this spirit, I also commend the Security Council's decision to refer the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court.
Together, these actions send a strong and important message -- a message of great consequence within the region and beyond: that there is no impunity, that those who commit crimes against humanity will be punished, that fundamental principles of justice and accountability shall prevail.
Today, I urge the General Assembly to act decisively as well.
The latest reports from the ground are sobering. I am gravely concerned at the continued loss of life, the ongoing repression of the population and the clear incitement to violence against the civilian population by Colonel [Muammar Al