UNICEF: Libya Crisis Situation

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Statement by the Secretary-General

Today marks the end of the 42-year reign of the Qadhafi regime. Libya now closes a painful and tragic chapter and starts a new one based on national reconciliation, justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

At this historic moment I call upon the people of Libya to come together, as they can only realize the promise of the future through national unity and reconciliation.

I pay tribute to the Libyan people for their steadfastness and courage through all the pain they endured. I convey the condolences of the United Nations to the families of those who gave their lives in a struggle for freedom. This is the time for healing and rebuilding, and not for revenge.

The road ahead is full of challenges, but also opportunities. The Libyan people look forward to a democratic political system based on pluralism, respect for women, youth and minority rights, and a peaceful transition of power.

The international community will continue to support the Libyan people and the National Transitional Council (NTC) in this transitional period. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya is ready to assist and support the Libyan people and their leadership at their request.

New York, 20 October 2011