UNA-UK's Head of Policy, Fred Carver, appeared on Al Jazeera English on 11 April 2017, encouraging UN peacekeeping reform in light of recent reports of sexual abuse and violence committed by troops in Africa and Haiti.
In the interview with Al Jazeera, Fred underlined the failure of the United Nations to get to grips with the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. While reform of UN peacekeeping with regards to abuse allegations has been on the UN's radar for over 20 years, a fundamental lack of accountability mechanism has prevented any reform agenda from curbing abuse on the ground.
Additionally, Fred emphasised the importance of proper implementation of UN peacekeeping mandates to protect civilians, especially those who are under attack. This involves not only drafting robust mandates, but also hiring the right troops to implement those mandates.
There is a case to be made that peacekeeping could be better achieved by fewer but better trained troops. But financially, peacekeeping does provide very good value for money.
The UN’s 112,000 peacekeepers operate in fraught regions across the globe, protecting civilians from violence and promoting conditions for lasting peace. However, acts of sexual abuse and violence perpetrated by a small number of UN peacekeepers are not only proving detrimental to victims, but also violating community trust in peacekeepers and weakening the legitimacy of the United Nations.
UNA-UK’s Mission:Justice campaign advocates for decisive action to combat this abuse. We believe that the responsibility to prosecute sexual violence and bring the perpetrators to justice should be an international standard. UNA-UK urges the UN and its member states to work together to strength the global system’s ability to respond effectively, remove the obstacles to prosecution and demand justice.