Carne Ross writes:
I spent four and a half years negotiating resolutions on the Middle East at the UN Security Council. When it wishes, the council can make decisions in hours. We agreed a resolution condemning the 9/11 attacks in less than an hour, the morning after the attacks took place. Time is of the essence. The only message that Gadaffi will understand is one of real substance and force. Such a resolution should state, at a minimum:
• The demand that all violence cease immediately, and that if lethal force continues to be used, the government will face consequences. At this point, such consequences do not need to be spelled out (and would unlikely be agreed) but imply sanctions, and, in extremis, force.
• Immediate freezing of all assets and an explicit travel ban on members of the regime, until all violence is halted and has been fully investigated.
• Since Libya is not a party to the International Criminal Court, the Council can and should refer Libya to the ICC for an immediate investigation into possible war crimes.
• Demand that there be an immediate transition to a representative government, involving consulting civil society and all relevant political actors.
• The decision should be taken under chapter VII of the UN Charter, recognising that events in Libya are an international threat to international peace and security (there are already refugees flowing out of Libya), and requiring all UN members to comply (this reference also implies the threat of military enforcement action).
I would love to see the council agree a no-fly zone or exclusion zone, to prevent air attacks on civilians. However, unless someone is prepared to enforce such a ban, it is meaningless. Realistically, only the US has this capability and such a call would risk playing into Gaddafi’s hands in his specious claim that foreign forces are behind the unrest.