14 September 2016
Ambassador Isobel Coleman, U.S. Representative to the United Nations Management and Reform, has decried sexual exploitation and abuse being inflicted by some UN officials on vulnerable communities.
Coleman expressed her government’s dissatisfaction over the development in her remarks on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Peacekeeping Operations, at a General Assembly Meeting in New York City.
“Sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel inflict significant harm on vulnerable communities.
“These are the very communities who look to the UN for protection and assistance in some of the world’s most dangerous situations.
“We strongly believe that this undermines the legitimacy and effectiveness of the UN.
“Today, we must reaffirm our unanimous position that one substantiated case of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse is one too many,’’ she said.
According to her, sexual exploitation and abuse is not a problem that can be solved by a single decision or action.
The U.S. envoy expressed her government’s commitment to addressing the scourge of sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as the implementation of the UN Secretary-General’s zero tolerance policy.
Coleman said that it was imperative for member states and the UN to close ranks in improving the implementation of the zero tolerance policy.
“By sharing national laws, organisational rules and policies, and examples of actions taken in response to specific allegations, we can identify and build on best practices.
“The United States firmly supports the authority of the Secretary-General to implement his zero tolerance policy, and welcomes the initiatives he has undertaken thus far,’’ she added.