Mr. Chair, it is absolutely unbelievable to see the extent of the turmoil in the Arab world. We can see it now in Libya. It is harder to achieve democracy in some countries than it is in others.
After observing the democratic fervour in other countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, where the people rose up, the question on our lips was how the army would behave. How would the various dictators, many of whom have been in power for years or decades, conduct themselves? Would they demand that their army fire upon the people, given the military might at their disposal? We had our misgivings. In Egypt, the army instead took a passive stance. In Tunisia, admittedly there were skirmishes, but not of the same intensity as those in Libya. Libya is in a state of turmoil, and the international community has an obligation to its people.
People armed with Kalashnikov AK-47s facing old MiG-21s from the Russian armed forces are not engaged in a fair fight. The international community cannot sit back and say the people will prevail. The brutality of the Libyan regime is beyond what happened in Egypt and Tunisia. This is a dictator who will be stopped by nothing. He is not afraid of bloodbaths. Nothing will stop him in his efforts to hold on to power. At some point, the international community has to respond.
I am going to give a short review of the events because it is important to see how the methods the regime is using to hold on to power have escalated. The first demonstrations took place on February 17. On February 20 and 22 a number of diplomats and ministers abandoned the regime’s sinking ship.