Ian Martin presents his latest book on Libya: All Necessary Measures? The United Nations and International Intervention in Libya.
In the book, he asks and offer personal answers to these questions: Was the international intervention in Libya a justified response to an impending massacre and wider threat to civilians, or were other motivations involved in seeking to oust Gaddafi and shape the future of an oil-rich country? What were the dynamics that brought about the resolutions of the UN Security Council, including the authorization of military action? How did NATO act upon that authorization, and did it exceed its mandate to protect civilians by seeking regime change? What role in the military victory of the rebels was played by the secretive special forces operations of bilateral actors, and with what consequences? Was there ever a possibility of a peaceful political transition being brought about by the mediation efforts of the UN, the African Union (AU) or others? How well-informed, or how ignorant, were policymakers about Libya and the regional implications of their decisions? What post-conflict planning was undertaken by the UN and other international actors, and by the Libyans themselves, and how did it play out during the first transitional government? Should and could there have been a major peacekeeping or stabilization mission to provide security during the transition, instead of a “light footprint” of the international community? Was the first national election held too soon? Who should and could have done more to help bring the proliferation of armed groups under government authority, and achieve their integration into state security forces or demobilization? In answering each of these questions, he offers his own reflections on the views held at the time and his reassessment today.
Ian Martin has headed United Nations field missions in several countries, including as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) 2011-12; Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal 2005-09; and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the East Timor Popular Consultation 1999. He served as a member of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which reported in June 2015. His other senior UN appointments include Head of the Headquarters Board of Inquiry into certain incidents in the Gaza Strip; Special Envoy for Timor-Leste; Representative in Nepal of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea; Chief of the UN Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda; and Director for Human Rights of the UN/Organization of American States International Civilian Mission in Haiti. He also served in the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina as Deputy High Representative for Human Rights. He was Secretary General of Amnesty International (1986-92), Vice President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (2002-05), and Executive Director of Security Council Report (2015-18). His writings include Self-Determination in East Timor: the United Nations, the Ballot, and International Intervention (2001) and All Necessary Measures? The United Nations and International Intervention in Libya (2022).