OAU/Libya/United Nations sanctions

Vienna, 26 June 1998/P/K/16023c-is

In a statement issued today, the President of the International Progress Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, hailed the resolution adopted by the Organization of African Unity at its 34th Summit Conference in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). By deciding to ignore, with immediate effect, the air embargo imposed on Libya by the UN Security Council in 1992 in all areas where it contradicts humanitarian or religious norms or hinders official OAU-related affairs, and by announcing to completely cease to conform with UN sanctions against Libya by 1 September 1998 if the United States and Britain, at the next regular review of the sanctions by the Security Council in July, continue to refuse to allow the trial of two Libyan suspects in a neutral country, the African Heads of State and Government have taken the lead in a worldwide movement for fairness and justice in international relations.

In conformity with the earlier resolutions of the I.P.O.ís Committee of Legal Experts, the President of the I.P.O. stated that the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on Libya in connection with the so-called Lockerbie dispute contradict basic norms of international law and United Nations procedures. The African Heads of State and Government, by their far-reaching decision, have displayed their determination not to accept the domination of the United Nations Organization by some of the most powerful members of the Security Council and to settle the Lockerbie dispute in the legal framework. This is in conformity with the ruling of the International Court of Justice by which the Court asserted its jurisdiction in the case earlier this year. The commitment of the African Heads of State and Government to the international rule of law gives encouragement to all those peoples and governments who struggle for an international system free from oppression, domination and colonial hegemony, Dr. Koechler said. He paid special tribute to South African President Nelson Mandela who had stated at the Summit: "We are in full agreement with Libya on this matter and we see no reason why these sanctions should be supported any longer."

The President of the I.P.O. expressed the hope that the member states of the Arab League will follow the example set by the African leaders and will consider a similar initiative on the pan-Arab level. It is only by unity and co-ordinated action that the Arab world will be able to meet the challenges of a neo-colonial order being imposed upon it by the most powerful member state of the Security Council and its allies and to preserve their national interests, Dr. Koechler concluded.

END/OAU/LIBYA/United Nations/sanctions/26-06-98/16023c-is