“It weakens the system of collective security”

India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) on Tuesday expressed their aversion to the move by some western countries to impose a military solution on the civil war in Libya.

In a joint communiqué issued here by their Foreign Ministers, the three countries “underscored that a no-fly zone on the Libyan air space or any coercive measures additional to those foreseen in Resolution 1970 can only be legitimately contemplated in full compliance with the U.N. Charter and within the Security Council of the United Nations.''

Talking to The Hindu, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota explained that “while this formulation doesn't go into detail, it is an ‘important measure' of what the non-western world is thinking. Why we say this in part is because the resort to a no-fly zone is seen as expedient when adopted by a country but it weakens the system of collective security and provokes indirect consequences prejudicial o the objective we have been trying to achieve.

“It is very problematic to intervene militarily in a situation of internal turmoil. Any decision to adopt military intervention needs to be considered within the U.N. framework and in close coordination with African Union and the Arab League. It is very important to keep in touch with them and identify with their perception of the situation,” said the Minister. He was glad that Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao recently articulated New Delhi's distaste for a no-fly-zone over Libya.

The three countries also agreed to work closely with Lebanon at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which, like the three IBSA nations, is a non-permanent member.

Mr. Patriota felt measures like a no-fly zone had the potential of making a bad situation worse by giving a fillip to anti-U.S. and anti-Western sentiments that have not been present so far. In fact, no anti-Israel slogans have been raised during “home grown” protests for a better standard of living, greater say in political decision-making and freedom of expression. The Minister also had a word of caution for the media which, he said, “selectively interviewed the population to make a favourable case of intervention.”

The joint communiqué emphasised the need for urgent reform of the UNSC, including expansion of permanent and non-permanent categories of its membership, with increased participation of developing countries in both categories, at a time when all three IBSA nations are members.

In an indirect endorsement of India's bid to join multilateral non-proliferation bodies such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Brazil and South Africa welcomed New Delhi's “engagement with and interest in participation in the relevant international multilateral export control regimes and utilisation of their guidelines.”

On the Middle East, they reiterated their call for urgent resumption of negotiations that will lead to a two-State solution, with the creation of a united and viable Palestinian State coexisting peacefully alongside Israel, within secure, pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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