Cuba Reiterates Need for Cease-Fire in Libya

Cuba on Wednesday reiterated its call for an immediate halt to military operations in Libya and for the start of a dialogue so that the Libyan people can peacefully solve their differences without foreign intervention.

The NATO bombings of Libya "are killing the very civilians they are supposed to protect," said Rodolfo Benitez, the Cuban alternate representative to the UN.

Benitez spoke during a General Assembly session that passed a resolution on strengthening the role of mediation for peaceful conflict resolution and prevention.

In Libya, NATO is unjustifiably using its most modern deadly weapons, without having exhausted diplomatic channels or other peaceful means, Benitez said. War, confrontation, hostility and sanctions never have and never will be the way to preserve international peace and security, the Cuban diplomat said, highlighting the importance of dialogue and negotiations.

Neutrality, equality, impartiality and the full consent of all parties involved are basic conditions for effective mediation, which must respect international law and the UN Charter, Benitez said, emphasizing the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-intervention in internal affairs.

He also warned that no peaceful conflict resolution method would be successful "as long as certain states continue using or threatening to use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of others."

Benitez described as unacceptable "the growing tendency of the Security Council to rush to threaten coercive action or to authorize it in certain cases, while remaining silent, indifferent and inactive in others."

[Source: Prensa Latina, United Nations, 22Jun11]

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