UN leadership meets on North Africa, Middle East
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met Wednesday with senior UN officials to discuss the unfolding situation in Libya and the broader North African region, a spokesman said, dpa reported.
Ban, who cut short his visit to Los Angeles and returned to UN headquarters in New York, wanted the UN to adopt a "consistent and strong" position dealing with fast-moving developments in countries in North Africa and the Middle East, said spokesman Martin Nesirky.
The UN maintains staff in nearly all countries in the region involved in peacekeeping missions or humanitarian and development work. There are about 20 UN employees in Libya.
On Tuesday night, Ban revealed while in Los Angeles that he had a "blunt" 40-minute telephone conversation on Monday with Libyan strongman Moamer Gaddafi, urging him to stop all military crackdowns on protesters.
"It was not an easy conversation," he said. "I told him, bluntly, that the violence must stop - immediately."
"Let me say directly: those responsible for violence against civilians must be held accountable. And among the events we have witnessed recently, some appear to be clear violations of international humanitarian and human rights law."
Ban applauded the Arab League's decision on Tuesday to suspend Libya, the first time the group has taken action against its own members. He also praised the UN Security Council's condemnation of violence in Libya.