United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:16 pm on 21st March 2011.

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Photo of Ed Miliband Ed Miliband Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 4:16 pm, 21st March 2011

The right hon. and learned Gentleman has huge expertise in this area and he makes an important point. This is a very important moment for multilateralism because a UN resolution has been passed without opposition at the Security Council. This is a real test of the international community and its ability to carry through not just our intentions but the intentions and values of the United Nations. He is completely right about that.

I was talking about proportionality, which is the third test of the responsibility to protect. It is right to say that our targeting strategy and that of our allies—this is something that the Prime Minister and I have discussed—must be restricted to military targets that pose a threat to civilians. We should always exercise the utmost care in the nature of our targeting because we know how important that is both as a matter of principle and for the conduct of our campaign.

On the fourth criterion of reasonable success, there is every reason to believe, as we have already shown in the past few days, that we can stop the slaughter on which Colonel Gaddafi appears to have embarked.