Within days, the 192-member UN General Assembly would go on to suspend Libya from the UN's Human Rights Council – a first for the Assembly, which is dominated by developing nations. Now the Security Council appears poised to introduce a resolution that would call for the international community to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. In addition, the ICC's chief prosecutor has announced he has grounds to formally launch an investigation of the crimes committed by Qaddafi and his cohorts against the Libyan people.
The flurry of action by the normally plodding UN conjured up a past warning from former President George W. Bush – that the UN risked irrelevancy if it could not act on a pressing international crisis.
Now, the question is whether the UN is indeed suddenly relevant.
Even the UN's strongest proponents acknowledge that much remains unresolved in Libya, with the fighting there threatening to deteriorate into a bloody stalemate and additional measures for pressuring Qaddafi – including imposition of a no-fly zone – under international consideration. UN critics say the global institution is still stuck on lofty words when action is what is required.
Tuesday's expected introduction of a no-fly zone resolution at the Security Council will be a telling moment for such critics. Some council members, namely Russia and China, may nix the idea. Russian official said they would examine who would enforce the no-fly zone before deciding whether to sign it, Fox News reported. China, which like Russia has veto power, may oppose the resolution.