New task force to develop strategy to strengthen UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse

Victims of sexual violence at a shelter in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN Photo/Marie Frechon (file)

6 January 2017 – The United Nations today announced that it plans to strengthen its approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse by creating a high-level task force that will develop a “clear, game-changing strategy” to achieve “visible and measurable further improvement.”

The announcement follows a request from Secretary-General António Guterres to Jane Holl Lute, the Special Coordinator for improving the Organization’s response to sexual exploitation and abuse, according to the UN Spokesperson.

Members of the high-level task force, all of whom hold official positions within the UN system, will use the upcoming Report of the Secretary-General on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation to present element of the strategy.

The Secretary-General has said that he wants the strategy developed “as a matter of urgency,” and that Member States and relevant organizations across the UN System are to be widely consulted.

In addition to Ms. Lute, the members of the task force are:

  • William L. Swing, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM);
  • Atul Khare, Under Secretary-General, Department of Field Support (DFS);
  • Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary-General, Office of the Legal Affairs (OLA);
  • Christian Saunders, Director, Office of the Under Secretary-General of the Department of Management (DM);
  • Lieutenant General Carlos Humberto Loitey, Military Adviser, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO);
  • Alfredo W. Forti, Special Consultant to the Secretary-General;
  • Nancee Bright, Chief of Staff, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict; and
  • Francesca Marotta, Chief, Methodology, Education and Training Section, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

See also: 'We all have to do what we can' to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse – Jane Holl Lute


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