UN chief calls for efforts to continue campaign against sexual exploitation, abuse

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 19, 2021
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday took stock of four years of efforts against sexual exploitation and abuse in the UN system and called for the continuation of the campaign.

"Today marks four years since the high-level meeting on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, when I called on world leaders to stand with the United Nations to put an end to this scourge. Member states and the United Nations together pledged to strengthen the organization's effectiveness in preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, and to put the rights and dignity of victims at the center of our efforts," he said in a statement.

"Four years on, we know that to make zero tolerance a reality and eradicate sexual exploitation and abuse, we must address its root causes. We also need to expand the network of system-wide advocates across our peace, humanitarian and development programs; create an enabling environment to encourage victims to come forward; and provide access to quality support and services," he said.

Member states must also uphold their obligations by addressing allegations referred by the United Nations to national authorities, holding perpetrators accountable, and resolving paternity claims, said Guterres.

"Progress over the past four years provides clear lessons for the future. Above all, we must be vigilant and spare no effort to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and uphold the rights and dignity of victims," he said.

Guterres ordered all Gabonese peacekeepers out of the Central African Republic (CAR) for failing to address allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, his spokesman said Wednesday.

All Gabonese military units, about 450 personnel, were ordered to return home immediately, said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman.

"The decision taken by the secretary-general comes after what we feel is a failure to respond effectively to a history of allegations of sexual exploitation in the CAR by the Gabonese, which includes a failure to conduct timely and effective investigations and to report on sanctions for substantiated allegations," said the spokesman.

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