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Statement on behalf of the EU to the 5th Committee, Item: 123 Sexual exploitation and abuse

Date of Speech : 20-05-2005

Place : New-York

Speaker : Karl Van Den Bossche, First Secreatary

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, the EFTA country Liechtenstein and Iceland, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.

The EU would like to thank Mr. Sach, UN Controller, Mrs. McCreery, ASG for OHRM, Mr. Kuznetsov, Chairman of the ACABQ and Mrs. Dixon, Director of the Investigations Division of OIOS for their statements.

As stated on previous occasions, the EU is convinced of the extreme importance of addressing the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse in a just, effective and timely manner. We insist on the need for the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps in order to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in field missions: to ensure swiftly that the perpetrators be put to justice and to institute a genuine culture of accountability for management, to prevent this reprehensible abuses.

Mr. Chairman,

The EU notes the resources requested in the various reports that have been introduced. Seen together, the Secretary-General’s requests for posts in several fields of activity and in variable operating contexts, certainly do not give the impression of a comprehensive, strong and unified strategy needed to root out sexual exploitation and abuses.

We understand that discussions are still ongoing between various departments, and trust that due attention is given to the practical implementation of GA resolution 59/287, that re-emphasizes the role of OIOS as the internal oversight body, entrusted with investigation in the UN and that stresses that sexual exploitation and abuse constitutes a serious misconduct that falls within the competence of the OIOS. A clear delineation of responsibilities and mandates is essential in this regard.

Mr. Chairman, the political message given by the C34 is focused on a three-level balance:

1. awareness-raising and prevention – to which the EU attaches the utmost importance;

2. investigative capacities and zero-tolerance policies;

3. effective enforcement.

The EU wholeheartedly supports this message and has noted the proposals presented to us by the Secretariat that would materialize this balance. We stand ready to approve during this session the appropriate resources to address the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse. The Fifth Committee needs to give the adequate resources now, to address this complex issue and ensure the right balance, taking into account the recommendations of the Special Committee on PKOs and of the ACABQ.

In order to address this matter in an effective and balanced way, there is a need for an all-inclusive process at all stages, involving Member States (especially the TCC’s), all the relevant departments of the Secretariat, and of course the leadership of the Missions.

As we said earlier, our debate today is focused on the immediate financing needs to establish the aforementioned delicate balance. However, the EU would like to urge all relevant parties to develop in the coming weeks an overall policy framework, to deal with the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse in a systemic way. Additional elements for our discussion, like the proposed role of regional and resident investigators – which we can support in principle - will form an integral part of our deliberations.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

This page was last modified on : 14-06-2005

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