Narendra Modi supports UN Chief's campaign to combat sexual abuse
PM Narendra Modi is among the world's 48 other leaders who've endorsed a collective statement by UN chief Antonio Guterres reaffirming their continued support to combat sexual exploitation across the UN system. His comments came after several sexual allegations were leveled against UN peacekeeping missions in African countries. Notably, Guterres had also launched a campaign last year to end sexual exploitation by UN personnel.
Modi, Trump and 21 UN entities support Secretary-General's campaign
The world leaders, including Modi and US President Trump, and 21 UN entities voiced their commitment to work together in partnership with Secretary-General to implement his strategy to strengthen system-wide approach across all UN bodies and all categories of personnel - military, police, and civilian.
What leaders and entities said in collective statement
"We underscore the crucial role of this partnership in achievement of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse." "Together, we reaffirm our commitment to make zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse a reality. This is an urgent and moral imperative, as well as an operational necessity to ensure the effectiveness and credibility of UN," the leaders and entities said in a collective statement.
Guterres admitted sexual exploitation is a problem of entire UN
The other leaders who endorsed the UN Chief's campaign include Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, her Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, Brazil President Michel Temer, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe and French President Emmanuel Macron. Notably, Guterres made a startling admission last year that "sexual exploitation is a problem of the entire UN," and "majority of this is done by UN's civilian organizations."
There's need for consistent implementation of policies, feel leaders
The leaders said they recognize the need for the consistent and coordinated implementation of policies and approaches to prevent the occurrence of such cases across the UN system and the ongoing need to ensure accountability for perpetrators. "We strongly encourage the efforts of the Secretary-General in confronting unequal power relationships and gender roles through meaningful organizational culture change," the leaders said.
The leaders also recognized the shared responsibility of UN and its Member States to protect victims and whistle-blowers. They also accept the shared responsibility of taking appropriate action against perpetrators, commending nations who have contributed to Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and those that are signatories to Voluntary Compact on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
Leaders welcomed steps taken by UN to enhance institutional response
The leaders, who are members of Circle of Leadership on Prevention of and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Operations, welcomed the steps taken by UN to enhance the institutional response by actively following up on reports and cases. The leaders said they're convinced that the highest standards of conduct require training, capacity-building, awareness-raising, vetting and appropriate enforcement of national laws.
Leaders highlighted the importance of Victims' Rights Advocate
"We pledge to continue our efforts to elevate the rights and dignity of victims and expand opportunities and modalities for them to report sexual exploitation...In this regard, we also reaffirm the importance of role of Victims' Rights Advocate," the leaders said. They called for further strengthening of an integrated response to victim assistance across the UN system, together with Member-States and civil society.