Виступ делегації України на засіданні РБ ООН щодо сексуальної експлуатації та насильства в операціях ООН з підтримання миру

Виступ делегації України на засіданні РБ ООН щодо сексуальної експлуатації та насильства в операціях ООН з підтримання миру

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Security Council meeting on the peacekeeping operations: sexual exploitation and abuse

(10 March 2016)

Mr. Secretary-General,

Mr. President.

I would like to thank Secretary General for his briefing.

Ukraine is convinced of the extreme importance of addressing the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse in a just, effective and timely manner. It is really disturbing that despite measures taken to enforce a zero tolerance policy, in the last year only, 69 allegations of serious misconduct in peacekeeping missions were reported. Even more appalling is the fact that allegations concerning the most serious forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, namely sexual activities with minors and non-consensual sex, continue to constitute more than 50 per cent of all reported allegations.

The protection of civilians is an obvious overarching objective for the United Nations peacekeeping operations. Specific tasks of UN peacekeepers vary from mission to mission according to respective mandates, but they often involve issues directly related to protection of civilians, including from conflict-related sexual violence and trafficking.

However, reports of alleged sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers — often involving those vulnerable that the UN personnel are called to protect — have been surfacing for years. We believe that the Security Council should send a strong message concerning this problem. [In this regard, we express our full support for the initiative to adopt a Security Council resolution on sexual exploitation and abuse.]

On our part we would like to underline that in order to send well trained and properly prepared peacekeepers to serve in the UN operations around the world Ukraine has established the Training and Research Center of International Peacekeeping Activity at the National Defence University of Ukraine and the Special Peacekeeping Training Center at the National Police Academy of Ukraine as well. Both of these institutions provide necessary training for military and police personnel in accordance with the UN requirements, including the subject of prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Ukraine welcomes the recent report of the Secretary-General on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, as well as the efforts made by the Secretary-General to prevent such incidents. We commend all planned activities on prevention, enforcement and remedial action, including support to victims, as outlined in the report of the Secretary General, and fully agree with the UN Secretary-General recommendations.

We also appreciate the focus on this issue in the Secretary-General’s report on implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and welcome the appointment of Jane Holl Lute as Special Coordinator on Improving the United Nations Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.

Apart from protecting the local population from sexual exploitation and abuse, it is also of particular importance that the UN policy on this track is focused on prioritizing the security and wellbeing of victims, including by maintaining confidentiality during investigation, helping to minimize trauma and facilitating access to immediate care, medical and psychological support.

Among important components of the preventive policy efforts, special attention must be paid to prior vetting of all peacekeeping personnel along with respective pre-deployment training. In this regard, we welcome the decision of the Secretary-General to require certificates of compliance, as well as express full support for the UN Human Rights Screening Policy.

As a troop contributing country, Ukraine re-affirms its determination to strictly implement a zero tolerance policy among its peacekeepers. We recognize our responsibility to strengthen the fight against sexual exploitation and abuse and create a system of accountability for perpetrators.

Concrete and effective preventive measures must be instituted.

A much more aggressive approach to ensuring justice has to be pursued.

Accountability must be real and public.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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