UN chief calls for rooting out sexual exploitation

United Nations, April 12 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called for rooting out sexual exploitation and abuse at UN peace operations review held here on Monday.

Speaking at “United Nations Peace Operations Review: Taking stock, leveraging opportunities and charting the way forward,” Ban expressed his “horror and disgust at allegations that troops committed unspeakable acts against those they were sent to protect.”

“My constant and loud advocacy must be matched by member states who alone have the power to swiftly bring to justice those who have committed crimes and to impose the strongest possible disciplinary and criminal sanctions,” Xinhua quoted Ban as saying.

“This is essential to restoring trust in the invaluable institution of peacekeeping and providing justice and healing to the victims and affected communities,” he added.

In the spring of 2014, allegations first came to light that international troops serving as peacekeepers in Central African Republic had sexually abused a number of young children in exchange for food or money.

The alleged perpetrators were largely from a French military force known as Sangaris, which was operating under the authorisation of the Security Council but not under UN command.

The UN chief also underlined the importance of prevention and mediation and said that “we must revitalise the preventive efforts of the UN system and deepen political support from member states.”

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