UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — The UN Security Council voted unanimously here Thursday to pass a resolution that will provide for the termination of the no-fly zone and civilian protection mandates adopted earlier this year for Libya.
Resolution 2016, submitted by Russia and Britain and approved by all 15 council members, revokes at the end of October the provisions set out by Resolution 1973. Resolution 1973 was adopted by the council on March 17 and led to a no-fly zone enforcement by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The resolution passed on Thursday welcomed “the positive developments in Libya which will improve the prospects for a democratic, peaceful and prosperous future there.”
The killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent Oct. 23 declaration of liberation of the people of Libya from his regime have brought Libya into a new stage with a new interim government. The declaration brought to an end a conflict between the Gaddafi regime and Libyan rebels that has gone on since February and involved NATO participation on the side of the rebels.
Vitaly Churkin, permanent representative of Russia to the UN, explained the process behind the drafting of resolution 2016 while addressing reporters after the vote.
“We worked productively and well with the delegation of the United Kingdom in filling out that resolution,” he said. “The UK delegation added some elements to our resolution, we added some elements to their elements.”
Churkin called the new resolution “very important,” as it underlines the dramatic happenings in Libya in recent months.
“We expect the NATO council to act in accordance with this decision of the Security Council of the Untied Nations and to suspend its operation at midnight of Oct. 31,” he said. “So we hope that indeed a new chapter is being opened in Libya and the Libyan people will be able to take advantage of the situation to build the new Libya they desire. The United Nations is prepared to support them in that and the Russian Federation is prepared to support them in that.”
The U.S. permanent representative to the UN, Susan Rice, told reporters that she believes the council’s ongoing work on Libya has been an “extraordinary period of activity.”
She said that the U.S., which is a member of NATO and supported its actions in Libya, is both hopeful for Libya’s future and would like the new interim government to ensure that it is inclusive of all Libyans and respectful of their rights regardless of their backgrounds.