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Efforts to stop Libya weapons spread meet common interest - RF official

November 01, 2011, 9:04 UTC+3
The UN Security Council in the resolution drafted by Russia called on the authorities of Libya to prevent getting of man-portable air-defence systems into the hands of terrorists
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UNITED NATIONS, November 1 (Itar-Tass) — First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Alexander Pankin has stated that the main goal of Resolution 2017 adopted by the UN Security Council on Monday is to “stop the uncontrolled spread of weapons in Libya and outside it as a result of the Libyan conflict.”

The UN Security Council in the resolution drafted by Russia called on the authorities of Libya and the neighbouring states to prevent getting of man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS) into the hands of terrorists.

“This is a serious violation of the arms embargo regime introduced by the UN Security Council resolutions, which is fraught with destabilisation in the entire region and beyond,” Pankin said.

According to him, “The primary responsibility in this sphere, of course, rests with the Libyan authorities, but it is clear that constructive interaction with Libya’s neighbouring states and the entire international community is required for effective settlement of this issue.” Russia is convinced that “the consolidated efforts in this sphere meet everyone’s interests,” Pankin said.

He noted that during the development of the draft resolution Russian diplomats “could not ignore the high risk of getting Libyan weapons stockpiles, in particular, MANPADS, into the hands of terrorist groups that are very active in the region.” “In this situation the safety of civil aviation is directly threatened,” Pankin noted. “Therefore, the document separately spells out the role of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).”

The Russian official expressed satisfaction with the “consensus support” given to the Russian draft.

According to the UN release, calling for action to stem the proliferation of portable surface-to-air missiles and other arms from Libya by the country’s interim authorities, regional States and other relevant Member States, the Security Council this afternoon authorized the Libya sanctions committee to propose a strategy to keep such materiel out of the hands of terrorists and others.

Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2017 (2011), the Council called upon Libyan authorities to take all necessary steps to ensure the proper custody of portable surface-to-air missiles, known as MANPADS (man-portable air defence systems), and all other arms and related materiel, as well as to meet Libya’s arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation obligations under international law, as well as to continue close coordination on the destruction of all stockpiles of chemical weapons with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

States in the region were called upon to take appropriate measures to prevent proliferation of those weapons as well. Other Member States and international and regional organizations were called upon take appropriate action to assist the Libyan authorities and States in the region towards that goal.

The Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) on Libya sanctions, with assistance from its Panel of Experts and in cooperation with other relevant bodies, was requested to assess threats and challenges, in particular those related to terrorism, posed by the proliferation of weapons. The Committee was asked to submit a report to the Council on proposals to counter those threats, including stockpile management, border control and transport security. Following the adoption of the resolution, the representatives of Germany and the Russian Federation welcomed the action. Germany’s representative noted that, since control of any nuclear materials was implied by the resolution, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should have a role in the anti-proliferation efforts, as should the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. His country would support the sending of a team to Libya to assess the situation of weapons of mass destruction.

In regard to the report requested, Germany’s representative also voiced his country’s position that the Panel of Experts should report directly to the Security Council panels and not — as provided in the resolution — through the sanctions committee. Direct reporting was the usual practice and was meant to preserve the independence of such panels. Stressing the danger that MANPADS posed to aviation, the representative of the Russian Federation proposed that organizations related to civil aviation be engaged in the counter-proliferation effort.

The Security Council on October 27 ordered the end to authorized international military action in Libya, more than seven months after allowing United Nations Member States to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians during a popular uprising against the country’s former regime. The 15-member UN body unanimously passed a resolution ending the UN mandate allowing military intervention and terminating a no-fly zone over Libya that had also been imposed in March.

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