AUCKLAND: The United Nations is ready to provide significant assistance to Libya's new authorities, ranging from police support to drafting a new constitution, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday.
Ban said the first priority in Libya was restoring the rule of law following almost seven months of conflict to oust autocratic leader Moamer Qadhafi after 42 years.
“A lot of people have been killed, (left) homeless. Infrastructure and social planning systems have been destroyed,” Ban said in a speech at Auckland University in New Zealand, where he is attending the Pacific Islands Forum.
“We have to help them to recover... we have to first of all restore the rule of law and public security. We have to protect human rights, we have to provide social planning support and physical infrastructure.”
Ban has already sent special envoy Ian Martin to Libya to asses the situation on the ground ahead of a Security Council meeting Friday which will discuss a wide-ranging mission to Libya.
Should the mission win approval, Ban said there were many areas in which the UN could help.
“We have to help them draw up their constitution... so the genuine will of the people can be reflected in the election of their own leaders,” the UN chief said.
“There are many areas where we are going to provide some policing support to help maintain peace and stability in Libya.”
Ban said it was important the Libyan people had “ownership” of their nation's transition to democracy.
“The future of Libya must be determined by Libyan people and we have to identify the needs and priorities of the Libyan people and respect their wishes,” he said.
Libya's National Transitional Council has mapped out a timetable which gives it eight months to lead the nation until the direct election of a constitutional assembly of about 200 people.
Within a year of the council being put in place, parliamentary and presidential elections should take place, NTC officials have said.