Since the outset of the Libyan popular uprising, Portugal has consistently condemned the indiscriminate violence against civilians, the gross and systematic violation of human rights and of humanitarian law, perpetrated by a regime that had lost all its credibility and legitimacy vis-a-vis its own population and the international community.
We have appealed for the cessation of all violence and for the establishment of an immediate cease-fire, as well as for the full protection of civilians and of foreign residents in Libya, and their right to leave the country without hindrance and in safe conditions. We have alerted to the plight of thousands and thousands of refugees forced to flee the violence and the need to afford them all humanitarian assistance possible.
Due to these reasons we voted, with the other members of the Council, for Resolution 1970 which was adopted unanimously. Nevertheless, the authorities in Tripoli took no note of this Resolution and have failed totally to abide by it.
On the contrary, since the 26th of February, violence has escalated, as have the crimes committed against the Libyan population; civilians have been bombarded from land and air.
Portugal has also constantly urged for the need of a national political dialogue that would enable the Libyan population to fulfill its legitimate aspirations: to build a democratic, modern State, based on the sovereignty of the people and on institutions that represent them effectively.
For the international community, the regime that has ruled Libya for over 40 years has come to an end by the will of the Libyan people. It has to be fundamentally reformed through a peaceful process.
Today we voted for this Resolution because we believe that it fulfills these essential objectives: to establish an immediate cease-fire, to put an end to violence, to protect civilians, to allow for unimpeded humanitarian aid and to lead to a national dialogue among all Libyans, conducive to the establishment of a democratic State and guarantee the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the country, as desired by the Libyan people.
In this context, we fully support the Mission entrusted by the Secretary General to Mr. Al-Khatib and his efforts to find a sustainable and peaceful solution to this crisis, as we support the efforts of the Arab League and of the African Union in this same sense.
I thank you.