The United Nations Security Council on Friday backed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recommendations to repatriate peacekeeping units where there are grounds to suspect their personnel have engaged in widespread sexual exploitation and abuse.
The United Nations last week reported 99 allegations that U.N. staff took part in sexual exploitation or sexual abuse in 2015. That marked a sharp increase from the 80 allegations in 2014 across the U.N. system. The majority of cases in 2015 – 69 in all – involved personnel in 10 peacekeeping missions.
The 15-nation council adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution endorsing Ban’s recommendations, and also said that if a country fails to either investigate allegations of sexual abuse, fails to hold perpetrators accountable or does not inform the secretary-general of actions, its troops should be repatriated.
There were 14 votes in favor of the resolution. There were no votes against, though Egypt abstained.
The resolution expressed “deep concern about the serious and continuous allegations and under-reporting of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers and non-United Nations forces, including military, civilian and police personnel.”
During the drafting process, council diplomats said the U.S. text had encountered resistance from Russia, Egypt and some African countries that contribute troops to U.N. peacekeeping missions, who disliked the terms for repatriating troops accused of sex crimes or whose countries do not investigate allegations.