UN to act on handling of Central African Republic abuse allegations

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon receives the report of the External Independent Review of the United Nations Response to Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Central African Republic (CAR). UN Photo/Mark Garten

The United Nations Secretary-General has pledged to urgently review the recommendations made by an independent panel on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by troops in the Central African Republic.

The troops were not under UN command.

Ban Ki-moon's statement comes in response to the publication of the panel's review on Thursday.

Matthew Wells reports.

The review panel, chaired by Marie Deschamps, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, was set up by the Secretary-General in June.

Its role was to examine the UN response to the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by foreign military forces not under UN command as well as assess the adequacy of the procedures in place.

Here's the UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"The Report depicts a United Nations that failed to respond meaningfully when faced with information about reprehensible crimes against vulnerable children. The Secretary-General expresses his profound regret that these children were betrayed by the very people sent to protect them. Though the soldiers who committed the abuses were not under United Nations command, the Report shows that the United Nations, which uncovered the abuse, did not subsequently handle the case with the speed, care or sensitivity required."

The report found that three UN officials abused their authority.

It also determined that, while there were some shortcomings in the performance of several other UN officials and offices, they had not abused their authority. 

Mr. Ban said that given the gravity of these findings, he will act quickly to determine what action might be necessary.

Matthew Wells, United Nations

Duration: 1'11"

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