It was a shame that the two balancing powers in the UN Security Council—Russia and China—stood abstain in the vote to the Resolution 1973 against Libya on 17 March . And yet, another two BRIC members—Brazil and India—took the same stance. The four world’s emerging economies in the UNSC at the same period 2010-2012—China and Russia are permanent members; India and Brazil are non-permanent members—did not use their voices optimally to keep a peaceful world. China and Russia could have vetoed the resolution. It’s a big question why they did not play their part like they always did on issues regarding military intervention against any country.
The reasons of the abstentions are generally the concerns over consequences to the civilians if a military action is taken. They doubted military intervention would resolve the problem as quoted from the UNSC minutes.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said he had abstained, although his country’s position opposing violence against civilians in Libya was clear… His country, in fact, had pressed earlier for a resolution calling for such a ceasefire, which could have saved many additional lives. Cautioning against unpredicted consequences, he stressed that there was a need to avoid further destabilisation in the region.
Chinese Ambassador to the UN Li Baodong said that the continuing deterioration of the situation in Libya was of great concern to China. However, the United Nations Charter must be respected and the current crisis must be ended through peaceful means. China was always against the use of force when those means were not exhausted.
Brazilian Ambassador to the UN Maria Luiza Riberio Viotti said not convinced that the use of force … will lead to the realisation of our common objective—the immediate end of violence and the protection of civilians. She added that Brazil was also concerned that the measures approved today might have the unintended effect of exacerbating the current tensions on the ground and “causing more harm than good to the very same civilians we are committed to protecting”. No military action alone would succeed in ending the conflict.
Indian Ambassador to the UN Manjeev Singh Puri said today’s resolution was based on very little clear information, including a lack of certainty regarding who was going to enforce the measures. There must be certainty that negative outcomes were not likely before such wide-ranging measures were adopted. Political efforts must be the priority in resolving the situation.
In the end they regret that the execution of no-fly zone has gone too wild. The Arab League, who proposed the use of Resolution 1973, even expressed deep regret.
@Reuters Arab League says air strikes on Libya differ from the no-fly zone which was called for; aim was to protect civilians not bombard them
@BBCNews India, which abstained at the #UN Security Council vote, calls for end to #Libya air strikes, from AFP
@BBCNews Russian Prime Minister Vladimir #Putin says UN resolution on #Libya resembles Medieval calls for crusades
@Reuters Putin says Gaddafi regime does not meet democratic criteria, but that does not justify military intervention