The US and Britain were among those in favour of establishing the no-fly zone over Libya [AFP]

The UN Security Council resolution, passed on Thursday, authorises a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from attacks by Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

These are the key points:

  • Demands "the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians".
  • Demands that Libyan authorities "take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance".
  • Authorises UN member states "to take all necessary measures ... 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".
  • Decides "to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians", but says humanitarian flights and flights authorised by the UN and Arab League can take place.
  • Strengthens the arms embargo imposed on February 26 by calling on UN member states "to inspect in their territory, including airports and seaports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from" Libya if the country has information with "reasonable grounds" to believe the cargo contains banned military items, or that armed mercenaries are being transported.
  • Orders all states to prevent any Libyan owned, operated, or registered aircraft - or any aircraft believed to be carrying prohibited weapons or mercenaries - to take off, land or overfly their territory without prior approval from the UN committee monitoring sanctions.
  • Adds travel bans on the Libyan ambassador to Chad and the governor of Ghat, both directly involved in recruiting mercenaries for the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
  • Extends an asset freeze to seven more individuals including three additional Gaddafi children, the defence minister, the director of military intelligence, the director of the external security organisation, and the secretary for utilities.
  • Freezes the assets of five key financial institutions: the Central Bank, the Libyan Investment Authority, the Libyan Foreign Bank, Libyan Africa Investment Portfoilio, and the Libyan National Oil Corporation.
  • Asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish an eight-member panel of experts to help the UN sanctions committee monitor implementation of sanctions against Libya.

Source: Associated Press