UN adopts first ever resolution to confront sexual abuse by peacekeepers; approved by 14-0 vote

United Nations, United States: The UN Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution that calls for the repatriation of peacekeeping units whose soldiers face allegations of sexual abuse.

The US-drafted resolution — the first by the Security Council to confront the rise in sex abuse claims against peacekeepers — was adopted by a vote of 14 in favour, with Egypt abstaining.

The United Nations has been badly shaken by a wave of allegations that its peacekeepers in the Central African Republic raped girls and exploited women.

A UN report released last week showed a hike in the number of allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers in 10 missions, from 52 in 2014 to 69 last year.

 UN adopts first ever resolution to confront sexual abuse by peacekeepers; approved by 14-0 vote

Representational image. Reuters

Minutes before the adoption, Egypt presented an amendment that would have added criteria for the repatriation of entire contingents, a move US Ambassador Samantha Power said would have "watered down" the resolution.

That amendment was backed by Angola, Russia, China, Egypt, Venezuela but fell short of the nine votes needed for approval.

The resolution, which has been under intense negotiation for a week, endorses a new UN policy of sending entire peacekeeping units back home if their soldiers face repeated allegations of sex abuse.

That proposal had been opposed by peacekeeping nations who argued that it amounted to collective punishment for the actions of a few individuals.

Under UN rules, it is up to the country that contributes the peacekeepers to investigate and prosecute any soldier accused of misconduct while serving under the UN flag.

The measure requests that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon replace all military or police units from a country if no action is taken to investigate allegations against their nationals, effectively expelling a country from UN peacekeeping.


Updated Date: Mar 12, 2016 14:59:17 IST