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Guterres vows to improve UN’s handling of sexual exploitation and abuse – Global issues

Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq told a regular news conference in New York that report. Special measures to protect against sexual exploitation and abuse, review the progress made in the past 5 years, since the Secretary-General took office, and explore areas for improvement.

The report includes data on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving peacekeepers and special political missions, other United Nations organizations, implementation partners and non-UN international forces authorized by Security Council The mission covers January 1 to December 31, 2021.

Abuse allegations on the rise

“Despite the obvious interests, allegations involving UN staff continue to surface,” he said, noting that in 2021, allegations involve peacekeepers, he said. of the United Nations in the Central African Republic resulted in the repatriation of a contingent of troops.

Despite the obvious interests, allegations involving UN staff continue to surface – Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq

In addition, an independent committee, established by the World Health Organization (WHO), reported on cases involving tithe response employees Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“No one, not even the Secretary General, is satisfied with the fact that we still have these cases,” he asserted. “We have not let our guard down and we continue to work to end retribution and ensure justice for the victims.”

According to the report, 445 allegations were received in 2021, an increase of more than 387 charges received in 2020 and the highest number recorded since 2016, when 165 charges were filed.

In the 2021 total, 194 reports were received system-wide, with 75 peacekeeping-related charges, up from 66 reports in 2020 and well above the average recorded over the past 10 years. .

There are 115 units related to UN entities, up from 109 in 2020, and 4 related to previously deployed non-UN security forces. Additionally, 251 allegations involved entities unrelated to the United Nations, such as NGOs, up from 244 in 2020 and 174 in 2019.

Progress is hard to win

The Deputy Spokesperson pointed to enhanced policies and protocols, required training, risk assessments, institutionalized action plans, and accountability measures among the outcomes. In addition, the UN continues to report publicly on the allegations on a regular basis.

In addition, the UN’s approach – focusing on victims’ rights – is realized through the work of Victim’s Rights Officer in various countries, where they are increasingly effective in tracking victims and investigating and providing support to them.

A group led by the Interagency Standing Committee (IASC), including the World Food Program (WFP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Victims’ rights advocate at the scenevisited the Central African Republic in April 2021 to review coordination in response to sexual exploitation and abuse.

The UN continues to engage with mission leaders, military and police contributors, through dedicated plenary and bilateral meetings, as well as unique peacekeeping mechanisms, including including the Defense Ministers meeting, to be held in Seoul, in December 2021.

I admit that the Foundation has not been successful in every way, but we are not standing still either – UN chief

United Nations Organization for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) has meanwhile developed an inclusive workplace strategy to strengthen leadership by promoting cultural change, with a focus on managing people and respecting diversity, inclusion and behavior standards.

Committed to improving – no matter what

“Five years ago, I committed to a ‘game-changing’ strategy when it comes to combating sexual exploitation and abuse,” Secretary-General Guterres emphasized in his report. The organization hasn’t been successful in every way, but we’re not standing still either.”

Mr. Guterres said the United Nations was paying more attention to persistent gender imbalances with power asymmetries leading to systematically unwelcome sexual behavior. While it was easy to get discouraged, he recalled his commitment to “move forward” in improving the way the United Nations tackles sexual exploitation and abuse.

“We must persevere in our efforts to address the wrongs that exist in every society and at every level,” he said.

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