UN to lead campaign with NTC for Libya's future

UN to lead campaign with NTC for Libya's future

The UN and the international community would work along with the National Transition Council (NTC) to proceed the political transition in Libya, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday in Paris, Xinhua reported.

Addressing the press conference after the "Friends of Libya" conference on Thursday, Ban described the humanitarian situation as "the most immediate" challenges ahead.

According to Ban, the Libya rebel leaders presented the Paris meeting with all the urgencies and priorities ahead of the transition leadership, ranging from transition justice, human rights, policing to help in preparing for elections, institution building and constitution making.

"All agreed that at this critical time, all international community must work together and speak with one voice, with effective and well-coordinated program of action, and all agreed as well that the United Nations should lead in this campaign," Ban said.

The Chairman's Conclusions of the conference said "In view of the expectation expressed by the Libyan delegation, the participants emphasised that the United Nations will play a central role in coordinating international support for the political transition in Libya and the reconstruction of the country."

"They (the participants) welcomed the proposals to this effect put forward by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and expressed their support for a new UN Security Council resolution which will endorse these proposals," the final declaration added, echoing Ban's statement that a civilian mission would be deployed to Libya as soon as possible after a mandate reached by the Security Council.

To Ban, two issues are of much significance during the political transition and reconstruction: the principle of state ownership and the importance of effective coordination.

"Libya's future is for Libya people to decide and determine, international community will work with Libyan authority to identify what needs to be done and how to do it," said Ban, stressing that "Time and financial resources must not be wasted."

A growing number of western countries that froze Libya assets to sanction against embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime started to unlock these funds as the NTC leaders requested.

France has joined the United States and Britain to unfreeze 1.5 billion euros (2.15 billion U.S. dollars) from French banks in the morning. French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged more immediate unfreezing to meed the needs of transition process.

"Some 15 billion dollars will be immediately unlocked," Sarkozy said at the press conference, the conclusion statement of which welcomed the recent release of 6 billion dollars of those assets.

While the unfreezing of a large amount fund become one focus of the Paris meeting, reports emphasized that the so-called "conference in support of the new Libya" is not a donation gathering.

The NTC leaders promised that "all assets will be managed on behalf of the Libyan people in an accountable and transparent manner," meanwhile U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the money "must be used to serve the Libya people" at a separate press conference at U.S. embassy in Paris.

According to the Chairman's Conclusions, operations to protect Libyan civilians will continue in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1970 and 1973, which means according to British Prime Minister David Cameron, the co-host of the conference, the military operation by "NATO and our allies will continue as long as we are needed ... "

Regarding the Gaddafi regime and deaths caused by the months long conflict in Libya, Cameron called for investigation into all crimes and bring the guilty to justice under the rule of law.

However, both Sarkozy and Clinton expected the transition process to be conducted with less hatred, appealing for reconciliation, an attempt to avoid breeding ground for extremism or terrorism concerned by many.

"As the leaders have emphasized repeatedly, Libya's transition must conducted in a spirit of reconciliation and justice, not retribution or reprisal. Libyans must continue to stand against violent extremism and work with us to ensure that weapons from Gaddafi's stockpiles do not threat Libya, or Libya's neighbors or the world," Clinton underscored.

Another result of the Paris conference is that participants agreed to replace the 32-nation contact group on Libya established at London Conference on March 29 by a "Group of Friends of the New Libya," which will have its first meeting in New York at the end of September.

Meanwhile, embattled Gaddafi, whose whereabouts remain unknown, vowed Thursday in a TV audio message not to surrender and urged his loyalists to continue resistance to the rebellion, while the rebel NTC announced a one-week extension of deadline for forces loyal to Gaddafi in his hometown Sirte to lay down arms.

"Let this be a long fight and let Libya be engulfed in flames," the toppled Libya leader said in a message broadcast on Syria's Al- Rrai TV channel.

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