General Assembly Adopts Resolution Reaffirming Commitment to Zero-Tolerance Policy on Sexual Exploitation, Abuse throughout United Nations System

The General Assembly today adopted without a vote a resolution on United Nations action on sexual exploitation and abuse.

By that text, the Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to the zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse throughout the United Nations system, including the agencies, funds and programmes.

Introducing the draft resolution (document A/72/L.69), the representative of Egypt, also speaking on behalf of Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria and Pakistan, called it a genuine opportunity for the international community to renew its commitment to collectively unite to prevent sexual exploitation. Speaking in his national capacity, he reaffirmed Egypt’s commitment to the issue, as one of the biggest contributors of troops and police to United Nations peacekeeping. He encouraged countries to deploy national investigators in peacekeeping operations where needed and stressed that victims of sexual exploitation and abuse must be supported, including through the victim support fund, as well as through appointment of a victim rights advocate.

Acknowledging the sacrifices of tens of thousands of peacekeepers, he emphasized the importance of not stigmatizing the troop-contributing countries because of solitary incidents. Troops must be trained before and during deployment, he said, expressing his country’s readiness to cooperate with the Secretariat in sharing with other troop-contributing countries best practices in preventing sexual abuse.

The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution without a vote.

Speaking in explanation of position after adoption, the representative of the United States reaffirmed her country’s commitment to combating sexual exploitation and said that such abuse inflicts great harm on the very communities that look to the United Nations for protection in times of vulnerability. Welcoming future engagement with Member States, she voiced support for authorizing the Secretary General to take necessary measures to implement the zero-tolerance policy.

Prior to the adoption, the General Assembly decided that the opening meeting of its high-level plenary, to be known as the Nelson Mandela Summit, will also feature statements by the President of South Africa and the Prime Minister of Ireland.

Source: United Nations