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The Security Council of the United Nations Organization adopted, on 17 March 2011, Resolution 1973, which authorizes the use of force in Libya based on Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The Resolution was adopted by a vote of 10 to zero, with 5 abstentions: Brazil, China, Germany, India and Russia.

The explanation of the vote by the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN, Ambassador Maria Luisa Viotti, on the UNSC session, follows bellow.

“Mr. President,

Brazil is deeply concerned at the deteriorating situation in Libya.
We regret that the strong messages of Resolution 1970 have not been heeded so far.

The Government of Brazil has publicly condemned the use of violence by the Libyan authorities and called on them to uphold and protect the right of free expression of the protesters and to seek a solution to the crisis through meaningful dialogue.

Our vote today should in no way be interpreted as condoning the behaviour of the Libyan authorities or as disregard to the need to protect civilians and respect their rights.

Brazil stands in solidarity with all movements in the region expressing their legitimate demands for better governance, more political participation, economic opportunities and social justice. 

We condemn the Libyan authorities’ disregard for their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights. 

We also pay due regard to the Arab League’s call for strong measures to stop the violence, through a no-flight zone.   We are sensitive to their call and understand and share their concerns.

It is our view, however, that the text of the resolution before us contemplates measures that go much beyond such call.  We are not convinced that the use of force as contemplated in the present resolution will lead to the realisation of our most important objective – the immediate end of violence and the protection of civilians.

We are also concerned that such measures may have the unintended effect of exacerbating tensions on the ground and causing more harm than good to the very same civilians we are committed to protecting.

Many thoughtful commentators have noted that an important aspect of the popular movements in the North of Africa and the Middle East is their spontaneous, home grown nature.  We are also concerned at the possibility that the use of military force as called for by today’s resolution change that narrative in ways that can have serious repercussions for the situation in Libya and in the broader Middle East.

No military action alone will succeed in bringing the conflict to an end. Protecting civilians, ensuring a lasting settlement, and addressing the legitimate demands of the Libyan people demand a political process.

We support the efforts being made in this regard by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and by the African Union. 

We also welcome the inclusion, in today’s resolution, of operative paragraphs demanding an immediate cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians, and stressing the need to intensify efforts conducive to the political reforms necessary for a peaceful and sustainable solution.

Thank you”

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