France lauded the West’s actions to bring down Moamer Kadhafi, while Russia condemned “violations,” as the Security Council ended its authorization for military action in Libya on Thursday.
Divisions over Libya within the council remained right to the end of the seven-month military campaign.
France’s UN Ambassador Gerard Araud called the NATO campaign of airstrikes — with France, Britain and the United States taking lead roles — a “magnificent endeavor.”
“We are particularly proud of having been since the beginning on the side of the Libyan people,” Araud told reporters after the Security Council’s unanimous vote to end the authorization for a no-fly zone and measures to protect civilians.
When questioned about accusations that western allies had diverted the resolutions used to justify the military action, Araud said: “We let the historians decide.”
Taking up the battle, US Ambassador Susan Rice said: “For the United States, and I think for the United Nations Security Council, this closes what I think history will judge to be a proud chapter in the Security Council’s experience.”
Russia, China, South Africa, India and Brazil had strongly opposed the NATO action on the Security Council. China and Russia vetoed a resolution on Syria earlier this month partly using Libya as its justification.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin reaffirmed that “numerous violations” of UN resolutions had been carried out in the Libya campaign.
“We have repeatedly discussed that in the Security Council. We believe that serious lessons must be learned from the experience of Libya in order for the Security Council continued to perform its duties more effectively, to act together and coherently,” he said.
“We believe that the record needs to be straight and that members of the international community, in case of an internal conflict, must act in order to resolve it peacefully and must act in accordance with international law.”