Collective Statement of the Members of the Secretary-General’s Circle of Leadership on the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in United Nations Operations

  1. As Members of the Circle of Leadership, we join the United Nations Secretary-General in issuing this Collective Statement to reaffirm our continued personal commitment as global leaders to support efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse across the United Nations system;
  2. We recognize the unique responsibility of the United Nations to set the standard for preventing, responding to, and eradicating sexual exploitation and abuse within the United Nations system, address its impact effectively and humanely, and safeguard and empower victims;
  3. We recognize the shared responsibility of the United Nations and its Member States to protect victims and whistle-blowers and take appropriate action against perpetrators; 
  4. We commit to working together in partnership with the Secretary-General to implement his strategy to strengthen a system-wide approach across all United Nations entities and all categories of personnel – military, police, and civilian.  We underscore the crucial role of this partnership in the achievement of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse.  We recognize the need for the consistent and coordinated implementation of policies and approaches to prevent the occurrence of sexual exploitation and abuse across the United Nations system and the ongoing need to ensure accountability for perpetrators.  We strongly encourage the efforts of the Secretary-General in confronting unequal power relationships and gender roles through meaningful organizational culture change;
  5. We commend those Member States that have contributed to the Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, as well as those that are signatories to the Voluntary Compact on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse; 
  6. We welcome the steps taken by the United Nations and Member States to enhance the institutional response by actively following up on reports and cases.  We are convinced that the highest standards of conduct require training, capacity-building, awareness-raising, vetting and the appropriate enforcement of national laws.  We encourage the United Nations system to continue to promote best practice and raise awareness;
  7. We pledge to continue our efforts to elevate the rights and dignity of victims and expand opportunities and modalities for them to report sexual exploitation and abuse and advocate for their own needs.  In this regard, we also reaffirm the importance of the role of the Victims’ Rights Advocate.  We strongly encourage the further strengthening of an integrated response to victim assistance across the United Nations system, together with Member States and civil society;
  8. We honour the thousands of women and men working under the United Nations flag – civilian and uniformed – who uphold the values of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights every day, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.  We strongly condemn the behaviour of those who violate and undermine the values of the Organization through their behavior by abusing and exploiting those who are looking to the United Nations for protection; 
  9. We commend the efforts of other international and regional organizations to support  the implementation of the strategy of the Secretary-General to improve the Organization’s system-wide approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse.  We also applaud the work of civil society in this endeavour; 
  10. We urge all United Nations entities to strengthen the alignment of their policies and programmes with the strategy of the Secretary-General and to commit to the spirit of this Collective Statement;
  11. We encourage all Heads of State or Government to join the Circle of Leadership. We will discuss progress in the implementation of the strategy of the Secretary-General at our next meeting to be convened during the High-level Segment of the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly;
  12. Together, we reaffirm our commitment to make zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse a reality. This is an urgent and moral imperative, as well as an operational necessity to ensure the effectiveness and credibility of the United Nations around the world.

List of members of the Secretary-General’s Circle of Leadership endorsing the Collective Statement

  1. H.E. Antoni Martí-Petit, Prime Minister, Principality of Andorra
  2. H.E. Mauricio Macri, President, Republic of Argentina
  3. H.E. Scott Morrison, Prime Minister, Commonwealth of Australia
  4. H.E. Alexander van der Bellen, President, Republic of Austria
  5. H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, People's Republic of Bangladesh
  6. H.E. Charles Michel, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Belgium
  7. H.E. Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Bhutan
  8. H.E. Michel Temer, President, Federative Republic of Brazil
  9. H.E. Rumen Radev, President, Republic of Bulgaria
  10. H.E. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President, Burkina Faso
  11. H.E. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada
  12. H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
  13. H.E. Nicos Anastasiades, President, Republic of Cyprus
  14. H.E. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister, Denmark
  15. H.E. Danilo Medina Sánchez, President, Dominican Republic
  16. H.E. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President, Arab Republic of Egypt
  17. H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President, Republic of Estonia
  18. H.E. Sauli Niinistö, President, Republic of Finland
  19. H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President, French Republic
  20. H.E. Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany
  21. H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President, Republic of Ghana
  22. H.E. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister, Republic of Iceland
  23. H.E. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, Republic of India
  24. H.E. Leo Varadker, Taoiseach, Ireland
  25. H.E. Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister, Republic of Italy
  26. H.E. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, Japan
  27. H.E. Jae-in Moon, President, Republic of Korea
  28. H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė, President, Republic of Lithuania
  29. H.M. King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco
  30. H.E. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister, Kingdom of the Netherlands
  31. H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway
  32. H.E. Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, President, Republic of Panama
  33. H.E. Martin Vizcarra Cornejo, President, Republic of Peru
  34. H.E. António Luís Santos da Costa, Prime Minister, Portuguese Republic
  35. H.E. Klaus Werner Iohannis, President, Romania
  36. H.E. Allen Michael Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
  37. H.E. Macky Sall, President, Republic of Senegal
  38. H.E. Andrej Kiska, President, Slovak Republic
  39. H.E. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President, Republic of South Africa
  40. H.E. Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister, Spain
  41. H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, President, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
  42. H.E. Alain Berset, President, Swiss Confederation
  43. H.E. Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  44. H.E. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President, Togo
  45. H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President, Republic of Uganda
  46. H.E. Theresa May, Prime Minister, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  47. H.E. Donald J. Trump, President, United States of America
  48. H.E. Tabaré Vázquez, President, Oriental Republic of Uruguay
  49. H.E. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President, Republic of Zambia

List of the United Nations Entities endorsing the Collective Statement

  1. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations on behalf of all UN Secretariat entities
  2. Mr. Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and the Pacific (UN/ESCWA)
  3. Mr. Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  4. Ms. Fang Liu, Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  5. Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO)
  6. Mr. William L. Swing, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  7. Mr. Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)and Chair of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)
  8. Mr. Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
  9. Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  10. Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  11. Ms. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  12. Ms. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  13. Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
  14. Mr. Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  15. Ms. Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  16. Ms. Grete Faremo, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
  17. Mr. Yury Fedotov, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna/UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOV/UNODC)
  18. Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
  19. Mr. David Malone, Rector of the United Nations University (UNU)
  20. Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-WOMEN)
  21. Mr. David Muldrow Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP)
  22. Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  23. Mr. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  24. Mr. Paul Ladd, The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
  25. Mr. Houlin Zhao, International Telecommunication Union to the United Nations (ITU)