The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President U. Joy Ogwu (Nigeria):
The members of the Security Council were briefed by the Secretary-General on 13 August 2015 on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by United Nations peacekeepers, including the latest allegations of abuses committed in the Central African Republic.
They shared his outrage and anger at these allegations and recalled that peacekeepers should protect civilians in the areas where they are deployed. They stated that the United Nations, and particularly its peacekeepers, must comply with relevant provisions of international law, including with respect to the protection of human rights. The members of the Security Council noted the United Nations should not let the actions of a few tarnish the heroic work of tens of thousands of United Nations peacekeepers and personnel.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the commitment of the Secretary-General to enforce strictly his zero-tolerance policy and took note of his recommendations to ensure full compliance of all missions with the policy, including as part of regular reporting by the missions.
They noted the recent appointment of an External Independent Panel to look into reports of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Central African Republic and the United Nations’ systemic response and looked forward to its findings being made public.
The members of the Security Council reiterated the primary responsibility of troop- and police-contributing countries to investigate allegations against their uniformed personnel and, if appropriate, to prosecute, and to inform the United Nations in a timely manner of the progress and outcome of investigations. They asked the Secretariat to keep police- and troop-contributing countries fully informed as soon as allegations against peacekeepers are made, stressed the need for full and appropriate reporting within the United Nations system and regretted that some allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, including the latest allegations by the United Nations peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, were brought to their attention by external actors, such as the media and non-governmental organizations. They stressed the importance of the United Nations quickly investigating in a credible, transparent manner the most recent allegations of misconduct and abuse and, if substantiated, working with the troop-contributing countries involved to ensure those responsible are held accountable.
The members of the Security Council underscored the importance to build the capacity of troop-contributing countries to investigate allegations and hold accountable those involved in abuses within their own national legal frameworks. The members of the Security Council emphasized the need for victims and their families to be assisted when such abuses occur, including through better information-sharing on the actions taken by troop- and police-contributing countries to hold those committing abuse accountable and underlined the importance of addressing the needs of the victims.
The members of the Security Council recalled paragraph 45 of resolution 2217 (2015) and stressed the need for all forces operating in the Central African Republic, while carrying out their mandate, to act with full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Central African Republic and in full compliance with applicable international law and recalled the importance of training in this regard. They took note of the decision of the Secretary-General to ask for the resignation of his Special Representative in Central African Republic and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). They paid tribute to General Babacar Gaye’s tireless efforts in support of peace, security and reconciliation in the Central African Republic and during his United Nations career. They took note of the Secretary-General’s nomination of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga as Acting Special Representative and Head of MINUSCA and assured him of their full support to MINUSCA.