Sexual abuse : Resolution adopted to tackle sexual abuse across UN system

Insight Online News

United Nations, Sep 3 : The General Assembly has adopted a resolution to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse throughout the UN system.

The resolution, which was adopted on Thursday without a vote, reaffirms the commitment of the UN to a system-wide zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, reports Xinhua news agency.

It notes with concern that Covid-19 exposed those in vulnerable situations to increased risks of sexual exploitation and abuse and limited the capacity of the world boy to provide victims and relevant member states with assistance and to investigate allegations, and urges the Secretary-General to continue to prioritise preventative action across the UN system.

The resolution stresses the importance of UN member states holding accountable those responsible for sexual exploitation and abuse in a timely and appropriate manner.

It emphasises that accountability rests on the cooperation of the member states and also the need to enhance international cooperation in this regard.

It supports UN efforts to strengthen its prevention, reporting, enforcement and remedial actions in order to promote greater accountability, and recognises that a culture of impunity could result in an increase in sexual exploitation and abuse.

It underscores that pre-deployment and in-mission training on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse plays an effective role in raising awareness about the UN zero-tolerance policy on such acts, and encourages relevant stakeholders to continue to collaborate to ensure that mandatory, effective, monitored and targeted training on sexual exploitation and abuse is implemented.

The resolution underscores that troop-contributing countries bear the responsibility for investigating, and troop- and police-contributing countries bear the responsibility for holding their personnel accountable for perpetrating acts of sexual exploitation and abuse in accordance with their national laws.

It underscores that acts of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers damage the credibility, effectiveness and reputation of the world body, commends the troop- and police-contributing countries that have taken effective steps to prevent and investigate acts of sexual exploitation and abuse and combat impunity and hold accountable those individuals responsible for such acts, and highlights the importance of establishing best practices within the UN system.

It calls on member states deploying non-UN forces authorised under a Security Council mandate to take appropriate steps to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse and to hold perpetrators accountable, and urges all non-UN forces authorized under a Security Council mandate to take adequate measures to prevent, and combat impunity for sexual exploitation and abuse by their personnel.

It underscores that victims of sexual exploitation and abuse should be at the core of the UN efforts throughout the UN system in implementing the zero-tolerance policy.

The resolution further highlights the importance of providing expeditious support to them, encourages the secretary-general to strengthen coordination across UN entities in this regard, and also encourages the relevant authorities of non-UN personnel serving under a mandate of the Security Council to provide adequate and immediate assistance and support to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by their personnel.

IANS / AGENCY

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