UN / SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE

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09-Mar-2017 00:02:52
The Secretary-General released his report on special measures for protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) for consideration by the General Assembly. In the report, António Guterres has outlined a new victim-centred approach to prevent and respond to such abuses committed by those serving under the UN flag. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 09 MARCH 2017, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

09 MARCH 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, dais
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet:
“The report identified a few, a number of areas for action. I think that there was an interest in trying to see what the UN needs to do, and must do to stamp out SEA. So, there is an emphasis of actions that the UN can take, and must take, but there is also an emphasis of a partnership with member states because we must recognize that this is not an issue the UN can tackle alone and we need a cooperative approach and a partnership with the member states.”
4. Wide shot, dais
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet:
“The Secretary-General is proposing a circle of leadership through which member states and the UN together can show our commitment to this goal which is a common goal and our shared goal of stamping SEA in our organization.”
6. Wide shot, dais
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Nancee Bright, Chief of Staff, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict:
“The victim’s rights advocate actually is someone who will engage in fact with civil society, with governments, who really would be the voice of the victims. We never really had that. You know, we often focus on the perpetrator, but the victim has never really been at the centre for us. And I think that’s really, in a sense, a new approach. So, this victim’s rights advocate is actually going to be dealing not only with host countries where the crimes actually took place, but also with the countries where the perpetrators are in fact from.”
8. Wide shot, dais
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Saunders, Director of the Office of the Under Secretary-General of the Department of Management:
“However strong your whistle-blower policy is, it is really the culture and how that policy is enacted within the organization that is most important. And I think the Secretary-General has made it very, very clear that he wants people to come forward and to blow the whistle where there is wrong-doing in the UN. He wants complete transparency and it’s the same with cases of SEA. We will protect whistle-blowers.”
10. Wide shot, dais
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Lisa Buttenheim, Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support:
“Burundian authorities appointed a national investigative officer who’s worked very, very closely with us. DFS has been continuously in contact with the Ambassador of Burundi, and on the ground OIOS sent a delegation that spent about four months out there last summer gathering information, interviewing witnesses and victims as well as gathering as much information as they could.”
12. Wide shot, end of presser

STORYLINE:

The Secretary-General today (9 Mar) released his report on special measures for protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) for consideration by the General Assembly.

In the report, António Guterres has outlined a new victim-centred approach to prevent and respond to such abuses committed by those serving under the UN flag.

At a press event for the release of the report, his Chef de Cabinet, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, said the report identified “a number of areas for action” on “what the UN needs to do, and must do to stamp out SEA.”

Ribeiro Viotti said “there is also an emphasis of a partnership with member states because we must recognize that this is not an issue the UN can tackle alone and we need a cooperative approach and a partnership with the member states.”

In that regard, the Chef de Cabinet said the Secretary-General is proposing “a circle of leadership through which member states and the UN together can show our commitment to this goal which is a common goal and our shared goal of stamping SEA in our organization.”

The Chief of Staff at the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Nancee Bright, spoke about the new figure of the victim’s rights advocate who, she said, “will engage in fact with civil society, with governments, who really would be the voice of the victims.”

Bright said this was “a new approach” and “this victim’s rights advocate is actually going to be dealing not only with host countries where the crimes actually took place, but also with the countries where the perpetrators are in fact from.”

Christian Saunders, who is the director of the office of the Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Management, said the Secretary-General “has made it very, very clear that he wants people to come forward and to blow the whistle where there is wrong-doing in the UN” and emphasised that the organization “will protect whistle-blowers.”

Speaking on the case of Burundi, the Assistant-Secretary-General for Field Support, Lisa Buttenheim, said “Burundian authorities appointed a national investigative officer who’s worked very, very closely with us.”

She said the Department of Field Support (DFS) “has been continuously in contact with the Ambassador of Burundi, and on the ground OIOS (Office of Internal Oversight Services) sent a delegation that spent about four months out there last summer gathering information, interviewing witnesses and victims as well as gathering as much information as they could.”

During his first week in office, in January 2017, Secretary-General António Guterres established a diverse High-Level Task Force, led by his Special Coordinator Jane Holl Lute, to develop as a matter of urgency a strategy to achieve visible and measurable improvements in the way the Organization prevents and responds to SEA.

The report emphasizes that sexual exploitation and abuse is not exclusive to the peacekeeping forces, but can occur within any Organization just as any other part of the United Nations. It is therefore imperative that the United Nations addresses this problem through a system-wide approach rooted in transparency, accountability and ensuring justice.
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