Friday, February 24, 2006

Peace-keepers or Piece-takers?

The head of the United Nations' peacekeeping operations acknowledges that there are too many sexual abuse complaints against his department's personnel: 295 complaints in just the past year involving 18 "peacekeeping" operations.

"Allegations being lodged against UN peacekeeping personnel remain high and unacceptably so," he said.

He noted "how hard it is to change a culture of dismissiveness, long developed within ourselves, in our countries and in the mission areas."

So what's his solution?

Mr Guehenno said only the strict enforcement of a complete ban on prostitution in areas occupied by peacekeepers could strengthen the UN's policy of zero tolerance against sexual exploitation.

He blames it on the near occasion of prostitutes.

Why of course! That explains everything.


Then there's that bedeviling problem of having a reporting system:

Jordanian UN ambassador Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein said the increase in allegations was "not entirely unexpected" since there was now a system in place to facilitate complaints.

Briefing the UN Security Council on how the problem was being addressed, the ambassador said it could take three to four years for the reform programme fully to take hold.

Three to four years?

This is not being taken seriously.


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