Explanation of vote by Ambassador Wittig on the Security Council resolution on Libya

Mar 17, 2011

(as delivered)

Mr. President


·                    We have gathered today to address the serious situation in Libya. Our intention is to stop the violence in the country and to send clear messages to Gaddafi and his regime that their time is over.

·                    Muammar Gaddafi must relinquish power immediately. His regime has lost all legitimacy and can no longer be an interlocutor for us.

·                    While we act on Libya, North Africa is undergoing major political changes. Aspirations for democracy, human and individual rights merit our full support. They offer unique opportunities for political, social and economic transformation. To achieve this goal, we seek close cooperation with our partners in the region, in particular the Arab League and the African Union.

·                    Our aim is to promote a political transformation of Libya. We see the need to stop the violence and to start a true political process. The basis for democracy and the rule of law in Libya needs to be established and broadened. In this process the people of Libya who have so clearly expressed their aspirations for freedom and democracy need to succeed. With this aim in mind, we regard the Interim National Council as an important interlocutor.

·                    We welcome the Secretary-General’s appointment of Mr Mohammed al-Khatib as his Special Envoy for Libya. His mission merits our respect and our support.

·                    We are particularly concerned by the plight of the Libyan people and the widespread and systematic attacks they suffer from.

·                    It is therefore crucial that we tighten the sanctions against the Gaddafi regime even more. We need to cut it off from the financial means that have helped it to remain in power. In our view, strong sanctions backed by the whole international community will be an effective way of ending the rule of Muammar Gaddafi and thereby initiating the necessary political transition.

·                    We have contributed a number of proposals in this regard. Germany thus fully supports the package of economic and financial sanctions in the resolution before us.

·                    Decisions on the use of military force are always extremely difficult to take. We have carefully considered the options of using military force, its implications as well as its limitations. We see great risks. The likelihood of large-scale loss of life should not be underestimated.

·                    If the steps proposed turn out to be ineffective, we see the danger of being drawn into a protracted military conflict that would affect the wider region. We should not enter a military confrontation on the optimistic assumption that quick results with few casualties will be achieved. Germany, therefore, has decided not to support a military option as foreseen particularly in OP 4 and OP 8 of the resolution. Furthermore, Germany will not contribute to such a military effort with its own forces.

·                    Germany has therefore decided to abstain.

Thank you Mr. President

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