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Conduct and discipline

The UN expects that all peacekeeping personnel adhere to the highest standards of behaviour and conduct themselves in a professional and disciplined manner at all times.

A UN peacekeeper saluting.

UN Photo/Logan Abassi

UN Police Officer salutes.

Our personnel should:
  • respect local laws, customs and practices
  • treat host country inhabitants with respect, courtesy and consideration
  • act with impartiality, integrity and tact.

Unfortunately, there are allegations of misconduct involving peacekeeping personnel. In response, the UN and Member States ensure that all credible allegations are investigated and that appropriate action is taken when allegations are substantiated.

You can view up to date statistics on the UN Conduct and Discipline Unit website.

“The United Nations, and I personally, are profoundly committed to a zero- tolerance policy against sexual exploitation or abuse by our own personnel. This means zero complacency. When we receive credible allegations, we ensure that they are looked into fully. It means zero impunity.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Sexual exploitation

The UN has a zero tolerance policy with respect to sexual exploitation and abuse.

UN rules forbid sexual relations with prostitutes and with any persons under 18, and strongly discourage relations with beneficiaries of assistance (those that are receiving assistance food, housing, aid, etc... as a result of a conflict, natural disaster or other humanitarian crisis, or in a development setting).

Addressing misconduct

The UN has a three-pronged strategy to address all form of misconduct including sexual exploitation and abuse: pre­vention of misconductenforcement of UN standards of conduct and remedial action.

This strategy is put into action through:

  • Training: Conduct and discipline issues are an essential component of pre-deployment and in-mission induction training, mandatory for all civilian, military and police peacekeeping personnel. .
  • Awareness-raising campaigns in the host country.
  • clear standards of conduct, such as ‘The Ten Rules: Code of Personal Conduct’ for Blue Helmets introduced in 1998.
  • investigations and disciplinary measures: The UN investigates its own staff.  When allegations of misconduct involving military and police personnel are substantiated, the UN may repatriate the individuals concerned and ban them from future peacekeeping operations. The disciplinary sanctions and any other judicial actions remain the responsibility of the national jurisdiction of the individual involved.
  • assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by UN personnel.

Statistics

Record-keeping and data tracking of allegations of misconduct and subsequent actions started in 2006. In July 2008, the Department of Field Support launched the Misconduct Tracking System (MTS), a global database and confidential tracking system for all allegations of misconduct involving peacekeeping personnel. 

The Conduct and Discipline Unit website provides more detailed information on all these issues.