Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. — Photo by Reuters

CANBERRA: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Saturday urged all nations to help stabilise Libya but said the future of the country should be decided by its own people.

“I continue to urge all countries to come together to help the Libyan people,” he told a press conference in Canberra.

“The future of Libya should be decided by Libyan people.”

Ban, who arrived in Australia after attending an international summit on Libya in Paris, has said he is working to bring a UN mission to the country to deal with a possible humanitarian crisis as soon as possible.

“We are working to make sure that the United Nations can respond quickly to requests by the Libyan authorities,” he said Saturday.

“This includes restoring public security and order and promoting rule of law, promoting inclusive political dialogue...and protecting human rights, particularly for vulnerable groups.”

“We are working closely with the country's leadership to ensure that confusion and duplication of effort are kept to a minimum,” Ban said from the Australian capital where he met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Ban called on Australia to continue to support efforts to stabilise the country where fallen strongman Muammar Qadhafi has warned of a lengthy and widespread guerrilla war in messages broadcast from his unknown hideout.

“At this critical moment in history there is so much at stake for people in developed and developing countries, and I am here to say to Australia we need your ideas, your experience and your continued commitment,” Ban said.

Libya's new leaders have pledged to restore order and stage elections in 20 months after their forces defeated Qadhafi.

They have been bolstered by promises made at the Paris conference on Thursday that billions of dollars in cash from assets of the Qadhafi regime would be unfrozen.

Gillard had earlier said that Australia would continue its push for a seat on the UN Security Council, saying “we believe Australia's voice should be heard there”.

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