UN chief says action of international community prevented humanitarian catastrophe in Libya
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Thursday said that the international community's swift and decisive action in Libya saved thousands of lives and prevented a humanitarian catastrophe, UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters here.
The statement came as Ban delivered a statement to a meeting of the Contact Group on Libya that took place in Rome, Italy, Xinhua reported.
Established on March 31 at the London conference on Libya, the Contact Group aims to provide political direction for Libya's future as the situation continues to deteriorate in the North African country.
In his message, Ban "emphasized the need to ensure unrestricted access for humanitarian assistance and to coordinate international efforts in this regard," said Haq.
On Sunday, 12 UN international staff fled Tripoli due to unrest in the Libyan capital. The UN maintains a humanitarian presence in the rebel-held stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya.
More than 665,000 people have now fled Libya and as of Sunday more than 12,000 people were evacuated from the rebel bastion city of Misrata, reports the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Meanwhile, the secretary-general said that there is consensus that any ceasefire agreement amongst the parties to the conflict " should be credible and verifiable, and consistent with (UN Security Council) resolution 1973," said the spokesman.