Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2017) — Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo issued the following statement today on the release of the UN Secretary-General’s report, “Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: A New Approach.”
“The Better World Campaign welcomes the Secretary-General’s report which demonstrates that the U.S. Administration and Congress’ bipartisan pressure for more transparency and victim assistance is yielding important results against sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) throughout the entire United Nations system. The report’s recommendations look to put victims’ needs first, calling for greater transparency with no impunity, multi-stakeholder networks to prevent and respond to SEA, and greater awareness and sharing of best practices.
“As I wrote last year, ‘every day, peacekeepers are accomplishing remarkable feats, stabilizing countries on the brink of collapse and sheltering civilians from rebel attacks in fragile states. Yet, when even one peacekeeper violates a civilian, it also violates the trust of the institution and the international community.’
“Today the Secretary-General fully committed to preventing such abuses at the United Nations, plainly stating that ‘such acts of cruelty should never take place. Certainly no person serving with the United Nations in any capacity should be associated with such vile and vicious crimes.’
“While in 2016 there was an increase in the number of allegations to 145, it is a positive step to see an increase in reporting by victims. In addition, with respect to vetting, it is positive to see that since 2016, 8,000 uniformed personnel each month are now vetted through the database system, an increase of 252 percent. This is a critical safeguard to help ensure that only individuals with the highest standards of integrity and professionalism are hired.
“It is in big part because of U.S. leadership and steadfast engagement on the issue of SEA that we have seen this vital progress. It is reassuring to know that the Secretary-General is a partner to the United States in ensuring greater transparency and justice for the victims of these crimes.”
About the Better World Campaign
The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations.