27 May 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11596
PKO/182

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL, CONCERNED BY REPORTED UNDER-REPORTING OF ABUSE BY PEACEKEEPERS,

 

UNDERSCORES COMMITMENT TO CANDID, COMPREHENSIVE, ROBUST COUNTER-MEASURES

 


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the Save the Children (UK) report focusing on the under-reporting of child sexual exploitation and abuse by aid workers and peacekeepers.  The abuse of children by those sent to help is a significant and painful issue and one that United Nations peacekeeping has and will continue to address candidly, comprehensively and robustly.  Even one incident is one incident too many.


The United Nations is committed to training and monitoring our civilian staff and working with our troop and police contributing countries to ensure that all categories of United Nations personnel are both trained in -- and are accountable for -- the highest standards of conduct.


As pointed out in the report, the United Nations has already undertaken a series of measures designed to tackle this problem directly, from establishing Conduct and Discipline Units in all of our Missions to strengthening our training regimes for all categories of UN personnel.  We are determined to redouble our efforts in this regard and to work with all of our partners to implement fully our policy of zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel.


The United Nations will continue to depend on the active efforts of its troop and police contributing countries in investigating and disciplining their national personnel found to have committed misconduct, including acts of sexual exploitation and abuse while serving in UN operations.


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For information media • not an official record