Oxfam statement on UK government initiated meeting on Libya

Published: 28th March 2011

The UK government is hosting an international meeting in London on 29 March on Libya. Up to 35 countries will discuss the implementation of the two Security Council Resolutions (1970 and 1973) on the country and consider humanitarian needs, among other things.  

In advance of the meeting, international aid agency Oxfam said:

“One of the key stated objectives of the conference is to consider humanitarian needs in relation to the Libya crisis. However, we are concerned that this issue will not be given due attention. There is a need to open up access to the west of Libya for humanitarian agencies, where even the UN has been unable to conduct a full assessment of the situation.  The conference needs to galvanize diplomatic pressure, particularly from the African Union, on this vital issue.  There is a risk that the crisis in Libya could turn into a protracted conflict.  The meeting should discuss the likelihood of such a scenario and ensure that plans are in place for an effective and impartial humanitarian response.

“We remain seriously concerned about the exposure of civilians to violence and urge that any military action by any actor does not put civilians at unnecessary risk.  There must be regular monitoring of the conduct of all parties to the conflict to the UN Security Council, and the monitoring should include best estimates of civilian casualties. The conference should be used as an opportunity to expedite a political resolution of the crisis, one which brings security for the Libyan people and ensures their rights and freedoms. 

“The UN Security Council agreed measures of asset freezes and an arms embargo should be fully implemented and enforced. Oxfam expects the conference to have reviewed progress in this regard and to identify any further actions required for monitoring and enforcement." 

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