The UN Security Council has passed a resolution authorising "all necessary measures" to protect civilians in Libya from pro-Gaddafi forces. BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus deciphers the precise meaning of the resolution. Key excerpts are set against comment and analysis by our correspondent.
From UN Resolution 1973:
Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties…
Considering that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity...
Analysis: These first two highlighted sections emphasise that this is all about defending the civilian population in Libya from attacks by its own government. One of the conditions for action set out by Nato countries has been "a demonstrable need" to intervene.
Expressing its determination to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian populated areas and the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance and the safety of humanitarian personnel...
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
Determining that the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations…
1. Demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians;
2. Stresses the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people and notes the decisions of the secretary-general to send his special envoy to Libya and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to send its ad hoc High-Level Committee to Libya with the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution;
Protection of civilians:
4. Authorises member states that have notified the secretary-general, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in co-operation with the secretary-general, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the member states concerned to inform the secretary-general immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;
5. Recognises the important role of the League of Arab States in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, and bearing in mind Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, requests the member states of the League of Arab States to co-operate with other member states in the implementation of paragraph 4;
6. Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;
authorises member states… to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights imposed by paragraph 6 above,
authorises member states to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections;