UN boss appoints coordinator on sexual exploitation and abuse coordinator

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday appointed Jane Holl Lute of the United States as special coordinator on improving UN's response to sexual exploitation and abuse, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters here.

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United Nations
United Nations

“The appointment of Ms. Lute is part of a series of ongoing measures derived from the secretary-general’s analysis of the High Level External Independent Review Panel on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by International Peacekeeping Forces in the Central African Republic, which submitted its report on Dec.17, 2015,” Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.

United Nations
United Nations
“The secretary-general is committed to ensuring that the systemic issues, fragmentation and other weaknesses identified are fully addressed in a timely manner and, in so doing, to uphold the trust that must underpin all international engagements,” the spokesman said.

During 2016, Lute will support the ongoing efforts of the secretary-general and the leadership of UN Offices, Departments, Funds and Programmes to better align UN peacekeeping and human rights systems and to strengthen the UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse, he said.

Lute has been serving as chief executive officer of the Center for Internet Security (CIS), and also currently serves as the special adviser to the secretary-general for relocation of Camp Hurriya Residents Outside of Iraq.

The appointment came just days after the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) reported on Feb. 4 that it has identified seven new possible victims of sexual exploitation and abuse in the town of Bambari.

In the spring of 2014, allegations came to light that international troops serving as peacekeepers 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 authorization of the Security Council but not under UN command.

The nearly 11,000-strong MINUSCA was set up in 2014 after fighting between the mainly Muslim Séléka and mainly Christian anti-Balaka groups erupted in early 2013, killing thousands of people and driving hundreds of thousands more from their homes. The mission played a major role in providing security last month for the first round of presidential and legislative elections.

The new allegations came in early January after what the United Nations has confirmed to be 63 allegations of misconduct at the UN Mission since it began operations last year, with the UN under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Herve Ladsous, reporting after a four-day visit to CAR in September that out of these 63 allegations, “15 relate to possible sexual exploitation and abuse… Most of those cases are under investigation.”

The Central Africa Republic has been rocked by violence since a mainly Muslim rebellion in 2013. MINUSCA was set up in 2014 to help bring peace in the country after a breakdown of governmental authority and vicious intercommunal fighting. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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