|CHALLENGES IN PEACE OPERATIONS|
DPKO stresses conduct and a duty of care
Over the past year, DPKO set in motion sweeping reforms of the culture of peacekeeping, initiated in the wake of revelations of sexual exploitation and abuse on peacekeeping missions during the previous year.
In June, the General Assembly approved a wide-ranging package of recommendations proposed by the Secretary-General's Advisor on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Peacekeeping Personnel, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein.
Subsequently DPKO established Conduct and Discipline units at UN headquarters and in the eight largest peacekeeping operations, prepared a far-reaching policy on victims assistance, launched communications and public outreach strategies, designed and implemented mandatory training for personnel in all categories, strengthened management accountability, worked to improve living conditions and welfare for peacekeepers and made progress in amending legal agreements of various categories of peacekeeping personnel to include prohibitions on sexual exploitation and abuse. This included amendments to the memoranda of understanding between the UN and troop-contributing countries. The Secretary-General also appointed a Group of Legal Experts to study ways to strengthen the criminal accountability of UN personnel who commit crimes while serving on UN peacekeeping operations. DPKO is also working with Member States to ensure effective follow up when offenders are repatriated.
A task force led by the UN Secretariat's two high-level policy groups--the Executive Committee on Peace and Security and the Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs--worked throughout the year to develop the details of these policy changes. Meanwhile, the Deputy Secretary-General visited five peacekeeping operations to carry the Secretary- Generalís message of zero tolerance for sexual misconduct.
In the field, investigations into allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse continued, now handled by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). A comprehensive data base is being developed to track and report all misconduct cases. Since January 2004, investigations were completed of some 291 peacekeeping mission personnel, resulting in the dismissal of 16 civilians, the repatriation of 16 members of formed police units and 137 repatriations or rotations home on disciplinary grounds of military personnel, including six commanders.
Prepared by the Peace and Security Section, United Nations Department of Public Information.
© United Nations 2006