UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday defended NATO against criticism from Russia, China and other countries that accuse the alliance of overstepping its UN mandate to protect civilians in Libya.
It was an unusual move by the cautious head of the United Nations, who will complete his first five-year term at the end of the month and begin his second term in January. Ban has rarely taken public positions that pit him some permanent members of the 15-nation Security Council against others.
"Security Council resolution 1973, I believe, was strictly enforced within the limit, within the mandate," Ban told reporters in New York. "This military operation done by the NATO forces was strictly within (resolution) 1973."
"I believe this is what we have seen, and there should be no misunderstanding on that," he said.