UN watchdog monitoring Libya sanctions begins work

UN watchdog monitoring Libya sanctions begins work

A United Nations committee set up to monitor the enforcement of sanctions against Libya reported Monday it is fully working to ensure UN members carry out the measures against Moamer Gaddafi's regime, dpa reported.

UN members are to report in 120 days whether they have implemented an arms embargo on Libya and a travel ban and assets freeze on Gaddafi, his family and many Libyan financial institutions.

The travel ban applies to Libya's ambassador to Chad, Quren Salih Quren al Gaddafi; and the governor of southern Libya, Colonel Amid Husain al Kuni, who was accused of hiring mercenaries to fight anti- Gaddafi forces.

Portugal's UN Ambassador Joe Filipe Cabral, whose country is a UN Security Council member, is heading the committee. He said it has met twice since the council adopted Resolution 1970 on February 26 and Resolution 1973 imposing the sanctions and authorizing use of force to implement a no-fly zone in Libya.

"The committee is now fully operational," Cabral informed the council in a meeting.

"The success of the sanctions lies in the active implementation by member states, their commitment and understanding of the (Libyan) regime," Cabral said, adding the committee will maintain high transparency in its work.

Eight international experts are being hired to help the committee, which includes representatives from the council's 15 members, to carry out its duties to make the sanctions bite on Libya.

Some countries have already begun freezing assets of the Gaddafi family. The United States reported it had frozen 30 billion dollars and Britain had frozen 20 billion dollars.

Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano was at UN headquarters on Monday. He said Europe and Mediterranean countries have a common future, urging Europeans to do more for those struggling for democracy in the region.

"We, Italians, Europeans, see ourselves as part of the Mediterranean," Napolitano said in an address to the UN General Assembly in New York. "Our future lies in a shared partnership with our friends in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf."

"Italy and Europe stand ready to join forces with them and to support their efforts of political, social and economic renewal," he said during a visit to UN headquarters to mark the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.

He blamed the Libyan government for the civil war in the North African nation because it had rejected "countless" international and domestic demands for democratic reform. Napolitano backed the UN- mandated no-fly zone in Libya in response to Tripoli's repression of "its own population by the Libyan leader."

He criticized countries that preferred "fragile and precarious" stability to democratic reform, saying that the West should have been more conscious of the consequences of authoritarian regimes and corruption of the ruling elites.

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