Three Truths to Address Sexual Exploitation, Abuse & Harassment in the UN — Global Issues

United Nations Secretariat building in New York City. Source: UN photo / Manuel Elias
  • Idea by Peter A Gallo (New York)
  • Associated Press Service

The concept of a “survivor-centered method”—sadly—was an unrelated sounding move to defuse a political corridor. Post-incident care and support is not only admirable, it is essential but is not intended to prevent, and preferably any, impact on the prosecution of the victim. crime would be indirect.

Nothing is done for victims after an incident that will prevent future victims from experiencing similar assaults. One of the accepted principles of criminology is that criminal activity is not impeded by procedures, committees, working groups or focal points, nor does it have any deterrent effect in increasing criminality. penalties for anyone convicted; Criminal activity is minimized by maximizing the likelihood that perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions. The UN has decided to ignore that and will not acknowledge three basic truths that Member States must recognize:

FIRST: any sexual assault is a serious criminal offense that should be prosecuted as such.

In the real world, where both criminal and civil cases arise from the same event; Civil cases will be supported to prioritize criminal prosecutions over more important ones. However, the UN does the opposite and insists that its administrative investigation takes precedence over the criminal investigation of the same case.

Thus, even if a rape is reported at the UN, the chances of the perpetrator being successfully prosecuted in criminal court are reduced to the point where the risk is negligible.

SECOND: that while United Nations staff members require and deserve protection under the 1946 Convention on Privileges & Immunities, that Convention does not grant immunity to sex offenders.

The abuse of the concept of immunity has greatly influenced the development of UN culture into one of narcissistic rights, where sexual predators believe they can act with impunity.

Functional immunity has been granted to United Nations personnel under the Convention, which states, in Part 18:

Officials of the United Nations shall: (a) be immune from legal proceedings relating to speech or writing and all acts performed by them in their official capacity; (Added emphasis.)

Claims that any sexual activity – whether consensual, contractual or coerced – is Not part of the “official duties” of any UN staff member; obviously no immunity may apply in the case of any sexual offence. If such an offense appears to have been committed; the host country must therefore have jurisdiction over the matter.

The Convention was adopted to protect United Nations personnel against harassment by hostile governments, and under those conditions there is always the risk of criminal charges. Therefore, it is certainly possible for the UN to be concerned about any allegations against the staff, but as soon as their preliminary inquiries established reasonable grounds to believe that a sex offence had been committed. be done; The matter should be turned over to local law enforcement right away – for them to conduct a criminal investigation.

The Convention was never intended to protect offenders from the consequences of their own crimes. That is made clear in Section 20 which reads:

Privileges and immunities granted to officials for the benefit of the United Nations and Not for my own personal gain. The Secretary-General will have the right and mission waive immunity of any officer under any circumstances, in his opinion, immunities would impede the course of justice and may be waived without prejudice to the interests of the United Nations.

If the Secretary-General could give an example of how prosecuting a sexual predator could “prejudicial to the interests of the United Nations“- the world deserves an explanation.

The UN interprets the Convention to protect UN employees from sexual offenses even when no staff member is accused of any such thing, as demonstrated in 2015 in its response. Organized as French authorities seek to investigate allegations against French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

The Convention states in Part 21:

The United Nations shall at all times cooperate with the relevant authorities of the Members to facilitate the proper administration of justice, to ensure compliance with police regulations and to prevent related abuses. in relation to the privileges, immunities and facilities referred to in this article.

That is a provision that the Secretariat seems to ignore, as the “immunity” is cited as the reason why UN staff cannot assist the French investigators by referring them to victims. core. The UN has never explained how that could be justified.

Immunity was created for the best of reasons, now it has become part of the problem.

THIRD: that the UN’s ‘self-regulation’ has clearly failed; The organization is not able to properly investigate on its own.

What most people don’t appreciate about corruption in the UN is that it is almost always “procedurally correct” – which could mean that the resulting administrative decision cannot be challenged before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal. UN, it does not make ethical or legal decisions – but OIOS Investigations will not pursue any such line of investigation out of fear of what it might reveal.

Complaints about misconduct, misconduct, favoritism, or abuse of authority by investigators are common, but often overlooked – as there is no independent oversight by OIOS (Office of Translation). Internal Oversight Service) and office management are bound in a network of mutual aid that is ingrained in the culture of the United Nations.

The OIOS “leadership” is widely believed to make the USG/DMSPC tender in particular, the most legitimizing of patent retaliation – because the USG/DMSPC protects them from any liability for shortfalls. their own remnant. The former Director of Investigations admits that their main objective is simply “to turn Americans against us“—because of that, he was naturally promoted.

For investigations of sexual misconduct; terms “survivor-centered method“It makes some sense. It’s been described as an innovative approach, but in any sexual assault case, the victim is always the most important witness – so how exactly are these cases actually investigated? past?

Post-incident care for victims has no burden of proof. Cases must be substantiated by established facts, and that requires diligent and competent investigators – not “investigators” promoted for personal loyalty. them, or their misconduct is often overlooked for the same reason.

The incompetence of regulators, the widespread wrongdoing and corruption anywhere in the UN must be taken seriously in its own right, but incompetence, misconduct and corruption Corruption in the investigative function is more serious because it facilitates corruption everywhere else.

Einstein is said to have defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, but that has been the United Nations approach to investigating sexual misconduct for the past 20 years.

The obvious solution lies in a person capable of thinking differently – but within the culture of the United Nations; who dares to think otherwise is a dangerous heretic who cannot level up.

Peter Gallo is an attorney and former OIOS investigator whose disagreement with the Foundation began when OIOS sought to demand that as an investigator he must “never ask questions just to satisfy satisfy his curiosity” – a strange indication that the United Nations does not consider unusual, despite the fact that no one has been able to point to a single example of him ever doing so…. He has written extensively about the UN’s failure to properly investigate misconduct, has been cited in the media, put on television documentaries, and twice testified before congressional committees on the subject. .

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© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service


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