Thank you Mr. President.
First, I would like to commend the decision taken by President Sarkozy to convene this crucially important meeting. We are facing an urgent situation in Libya, and we have no time to loose.
Norway strongly supports the historic resolution adopted by the Security Council two days ago. For the first time, the Security Council invokes the principle of Responsibility to Protect as the primary reason for authorizing the use of force against a Member State.
As a firm believer in this novel principle, and in the importance of an UN-led world order, Norway stands ready to contribute to its full implementation, through political, military and humanitarian means.
With this resolution the international community sends a strong and unmistakable signal to Colonel Gaddafi and his regime.
Colonel Gaddafi must now respect the legitimate demands and democratic aspirations of the Libyan people. Libyan authorities must protect the civilian population from the escalating violence. They must provide full and unhindered access for humanitarian actors.
Gaddafi met peaceful demonstrators with brutality. A leader who wages war against his own people has lost his legitimacy. We therefore call for Colonel Gaddafi’s immediate resignation.
The bold decisions taken by the Arab League and the African Union were essential for developing the broad international support for the historic decision taken by the Security Council.
The Security Council resolution and the strong regional support provide the necessary legality and legitimacy. Still, this is just the first step. Now it is time to act.
We should be under no illusion that solving the crisis in Libya will be either easy or swift. Broad and sustained participation is now essential. It is particularly important that key Arab states and other countries of the region play their full part in all aspects of our common effort.
To prevail, it requires will, perseverance, and sacrifice.
We fully support the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy in his efforts to find a sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis.
While force alone will not be enough, there are times where the collective will of the international community must be imposed by military means. As we speak, Norway is therefore preparing relevant Air Force assets for the task, including 6 combat aircraft.
In addition to military contributions, Norway stands ready to help develop a broad and effective response, including economic sanctions, international legal action, and a well coordinated humanitarian assistance.
Norway has contributed close to 10 million US dollars to the emergency relief efforts.
This is a moment of truth. History will judge us by the actions we are taking these very days. I call on you all to play your part in this endeavour