Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is sending a special envoy to Libya on an urgent mission to try to end the escalating violence and ensure that humanitarian aid gets to those in need.
Ban told reporters Friday he also expects his envoy, former Jordanian foreign minister Abdelilah Al-Khatib, to be engaged in the broader dimension of the Libyan crisis, including political issues.
He said Al-Khatib would leave New York over the weekend with a U.N. delegation and arrive in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, early next week.
Ban said the most immediate challenge is the humanitarian aspect because civilians have borne the brunt of the violence.
Al-Khatib called it a "delicate and crucial mission" and said he is "prepared to meet all parties concerned."