TEXT OF THE LETTER:
OPEN LETTER :
Making senior UN leadership accountable for sexual abuse/exploitation by UN staff in peace operations.
Dear Secretary General
We, the undersigned, congratulate the United Nations and the Security Council for recognizing the experiences of women in conflicts and war. UN Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) articulate the critical role of women in peacemaking and peace building, and that the protection needs of women during conflict and crisis are essential
elements of peace and security.
Despite these milestones, women and girls continue to experience alarming forms of exploitation and violence including sexual violence in many countries worldwide. While the UN has made many efforts, it is most disappointing that parts of the system are still implicated in such abuse in conflict areas. Even one incident is one too many.
It is time to put words into action.
SCR 1820 demands zero tolerance. We know that you have the means and hopefully the willingness to take a historic leadership role in this matter, with the following steps:
1. State publicly and strongly that there will be no impunity for UN personnel who engage in any form of exploitation, including sexual abuse.
2. Assert leadership and take needed action on this matter.
3. Make the Special Representatives of the Secretary General (SRSGs), who are your senior most representatives in UN missions, personally responsible for any violation, and ask for their resignation in such cases.
4. Do everything in your power to bring any UN personnel involved in sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) to international justice, including through International Criminal Court (ICC) mechanism.
We believe that the credibility of the entire UN system is at stake. We urge you to do what is right and take immediate action regarding the steps proposed above. We support you wholeheartedly in this endeavour.
We look forward to your response.
Thank you and yours sincerely
Member States of the Security Council