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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ban and Libyan official discuss transition; agree on 'urgent' visit by UN envoy

7 July 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Prime Minister of Libya today discussed the need to end the fighting and ensure a transition that brings peace to the country, and agreed that the United Nations Special Envoy should hold urgent consultations in Tripoli.

Hundreds of people are confirmed to have been killed – and hundreds of thousands displaced –since opposition forces rose up against the regime of Mr. Qadhafi in February as part of a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East.

During their telephone conversation, Mr. Ban and Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi discussed the urgent need to find a way out of the current fighting and alleviate the dire humanitarian situation, and work out a transition that could bring peace to all Libyans, according to a readout provided by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.

To that end, Mr. Ban said it was important that his Special Envoy for Libya, Abdul Ilah al-Khatib, receive the full support of all concerned.

“The Libyan Prime Minister agreed to the suggestion of the Secretary-General that Mr. al-Khatib be received in Tripoli at an early date for urgent consultations,” the readout said.

In Geneva where Mr. Ban attended a meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), he told reporters: “We are far from reaching an agreement to end the conflict, but a negotiation process is under way.”

His Special Envoy is playing a crucial coordinating role and will be intensifying his efforts, he added.

Mr. Ban also emphasized the importance of international unity in dealing with the situation in Libya. “It is imperative that all efforts to end the conflict be closely coordinated,” he said.

“The United Nations will be critical in managing not only the realization of a ceasefire and eventual peace, but also its aftermath, the construction of a free and democratic Libya,” he stated. “We have already started the early planning for the post-conflict phase, for the peace-building and peace-making phase.”

Earlier this month a UN inter-agency mission, comprising specialists from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), assessed conditions on the ground in several parts of Libya.

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