Add news
March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022June 2022July 2022August 2022September 2022October 2022November 2022December 2022January 2023February 2023
News Every Day |

Three Truths to Address Sexual Exploitation, Abuse & Harassment in the UN

The UN Secretariat building in New York City. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elías

By Peter A Gallo
NEW YORK, Nov 15 2022 (IPS)

The U.S. Government has recently published ‘Engagement Principles’ on Protection from Sexual Exploitation Abuse & Sexual Harassment within International Organizations’, and while any involvement from Member States is to be encouraged, these principles do not address the fundamental need for either deterrence or for accountability.

The concept of a “survivor-centred approach” – sadly – is an irrelevant sound bite to appease a political lobby. Post-incident care and support for the victim is not only admirable but very necessary but serves no deterrent purpose, and any bearing it might have on the prosecution of an offender will be indirect at best.

Nothing done for victims after an incident will prevent future victims being similarly assaulted.
One of the accepted tenets of criminology is that criminal activity is not discouraged by procedures, committees, working groups or focal points, nor is there any deterrent effect in increasing the penalty for anyone convicted of the offence; criminal activity is minimised by maximising the likelihood of the perpetrator being held accountable for their actions. The UN choses to ignore that, and will not acknowledge three basic truths the Member States must recognise:

FIRST: that any sexual assault is a serious criminal offence that should be prosecuted as such.

In the real world, where both a criminal case and a civil one arise from the same event; the civil case will be sisted to give priority to the more important criminal prosecution. The UN, however, does the opposite and insists that their administrative investigation take priority over the criminal investigation of the same incident.

As a result, even where a rape is reported in the UN, the chances of the perpetrator being successfully prosecuted in a criminal court is minimised to the point where the risk is insignificant.

SECOND: that while UN personnel require and deserve the protection of the 1946 Convention on Privileges & Immunities, that Convention does not grant immunity for sexual offences.

Abuse of the concept of immunity has greatly influenced the evolution of the UN culture into one of narcissistic entitlement, where sexual predators believe they can act with impunity.

Functional Immunity was afforded to UN staff members under the Convention which states, very clearly, in Section 18:

Officials of the United Nations shall : (a) be immune from legal process in respect of words spoken or written and all acts performed by them in their official capacity; (Emphasis added.)

Given that any sexual activity – whether consensual, contractual, or coerced – is not part of the “official duties” of any UN staff member; it is self-evident that no immunity can apply in the case of any sexual offence. If such an offence appears to have been committed; the host nation must therefore have jurisdiction over the matter.

The Convention was adopted to protect UN staff against harassment by a hostile government, and in those conditions, there will always be a risk that criminal charges might be fabricated. There is no doubt, therefore that the UN must take an interest in any accusations against staff members, but as soon as their preliminary enquiries establish reasonable grounds to believe that a sexual offence has been committed; the matter should be handed over to local law enforcement immediately – for them to proceed with a criminal investigation.

The Convention was never intended to protect offenders from the consequences of their own criminality. That is made clear in Section 20 which reads:

Privileges and immunities are granted to officials in the interests of the United Nations and not for the personal benefit of the individuals themselves. The Secretary-General shall have the right and the duty to waive the immunity of any official in any case where, in his opinion, the immunity would impede the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the United Nations.

If the Secretary-General can give an example of how the prosecution of a sexual predator could possibly “prejudice to the interests of the UN” – the world deserves an explanation.

The UN interprets the Convention to protect UN staff members from sexual offences even when no staff member is accused of any such thing, as was demonstrated in 2015 by the Organization’s response when French authorities sought to investigate allegations against French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

The Convention states in Section 21:

The United Nations shall cooperate at all times with the appropriate authorities of Members to facilitate the proper administration of justice, secure the observance of police regulations and prevent the occurrence of any abuse in connection with the privileges, immunities and facilities mentioned in this article.

That is a provision the Secretariat appears to ignore, because “immunity” was cited as the reason why UN staff members could not assist French investigators by introducing them to victims. The UN has never explained how that could be justified.

Immunity was created for the best of reasons, it has now become part of the problem.

THIRD: that ‘self-regulation’ by the UN has clearly been a failure; the Organization cannot properly investigate itself.

What most people fail to appreciate about the corruption in the UN is that it is almost always “procedurally correct” – which may mean the resulting administrative decision cannot be challenged before the UN Dispute Tribunal, it does not make the decision ethical or legitimate – but OIOS investigations will not pursue any such line of enquiry for fear of what it might reveal.

Complaints about malpractices, misconduct, bias or abuses of authority by investigators are common, but are routinely ignored – because there is no independent oversight of OIOS (Office of Internal Oversight Services) and the management of the office is tied up in the same network of mutually supportive patronage that is ingrained in the UN culture.

The OIOS “leadership” is widely believed to do the bidding of the USG/DMSPC in particular, legitimising the most patent retaliation – because the USG/DMSPC protects them from any accountability for their own shortcomings. The former Director of Investigations admitting that their primary objective was simply “to get the Americans off our backs” – for which, naturally, he was promoted.

As for sexual misconduct investigations; the term “survivor-centered approach” makes little sense. It is described as an innovative approach but in any sexual assault, the victim has always been the most important witness – so how exactly were these cases actually investigated in the past?

Post-incident care for the victim has no bearing on the burden of proof. Cases must be proved by established facts, and that requires diligent and competent investigators – not “investigators” promoted for their personal loyalty, or whose misconduct has routinely been overlooked for the same reason.

Gross incompetence by managers, rampant misconduct and corruption anywhere in the UN must be considered serious in its own right, but incompetence, misconduct and corruption in the investigative function is more serious because that facilitates the corruption everywhere else.

Einstein is said to have defined insanity as doing same thing over and over, and expecting a different result, but that has been the UN’s approach to investigating sexual misconduct for the last 20 years.

The solution clearly lies with someone capable of thinking differently – but within the UN culture; anyone who dares to think differently is a dangerous heretic who cannot be promoted.

Peter Gallo is a lawyer and former OIOS investigator, whose disagreements with the Organization began when OIOS sought to demand that as an investigator, he must “never ask questions just to satisfy his curiosity” – a bizarre instruction that the UN did not consider even unusual, despite the fact that no one was ever able to point out a single example of his ever having done so….He has written extensively on the UN’s failure to properly investigate misconduct, been quoted in the media, featured on television documentaries and twice testified before congressional committees on the subject.

IPS UN Bureau



В Минске анонсировали «Большой разговор с президентом» в прямом эфире — Российская газета

The Bermuda Triangle Explained

AMSTERDAM Walking tour and city highlights in 4K

AUSTRIAN AIRLINES Boeing 777 Business Class Vienna to Mauritius trip report (4K)

Intel Arc A770: 3 Month Performance Check-In

Read also

What we know about Chinese balloon sightings during Trump presidency

'Lady A' singer: Grammy-nominated Christian song is a message world needs to hear

Centre blocks Punjab’s Rs400bn health insurance scheme

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on

News Every Day

AMSTERDAM Walking tour and city highlights in 4K — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

The Bermuda Triangle Explained

Sports today

Новости тенниса
Билли Джин Кинг

Президент Федерации тенниса Германии: Правильно, что Россия и Беларусь исключены из "Кубка Дэвиса" и Кубка Билли Джин Кинг

Спорт в России и мире

Первые тренажеры поезда «Москва-2020» заработали в столичном метро

All sports news today

Sports in Russia today


Триумф Ардашева, стрельба Петриковой, дебют Борзаковского и радость Фомина: чем запомнилась «Гонка звёзд» в «Лужниках»

Новости России

Game News

Масштабная многопользовательская ролевая онлайн игра Аркмэйз открылась


Глюкоза на Алтае показала фото в прозрачном купальнике и рассказала, кто её пропарил

Губернаторы России
Дмитрий Нагиев

Дмитрия Нагиева снова прокатили: стал известен новый ведущий и члены жюри 11-го сезона шоу "Голос"

В России выявили 8084 новых случая коронавируса за сутки

Шапки мужские и женские (акция от Wildberries / Y're на головные уборы)

Выдача загранпаспорта нового образца в России приостановлена: в какие страны россиян без него не пустят

В аэропорту Васьково готовятся принимать региональные авиарейсы

Композитор Классической музыки

Музыканты сводного оркестра Уральского округа Росгвардии сыграли сюиту А.Хачатуряна в честь 80-летия победы в Сталинградской битве

Мастер-классы по сноуборду и хиты Aerosmith на виолончели: как провести первые выходные февраля в Петербурге

Анастасия Волочкова высмеяла слухи про ВИЧ-инфекцию и цирроз

Президент Федерации тенниса Германии: Правильно, что Россия и Беларусь исключены из "Кубка Дэвиса" и Кубка Билли Джин Кинг

"Кубок Дэвиса". Александр Зверев обыграл Стэна Вавринку и сравнял счёт в противостоянии Германии и Швейцарии

Марион Бартоли: Рууд знал, что рано вылетит на Australian Open и будет готовиться к сезону потом. Считаю такой подход странным

Павлюченкова одержала первую победу с января 2022 года

Гидрометцентр: небольшой снег ожидается 6 февраля в Москве

Шапки мужские и женские (акция от Wildberries / Y're на головные уборы)

Как современное уличное искусство и дизайн-код меняют Москву

Определены победители финала шоу «Ледниковый период» в феврале 2023 года

В ЦСКА нашли объяснение поражению от "Барыса" в матче с 11 голами

Песня под Ключ. Купить Песню под Ключ. Запись Песни под Ключ.

Юрий Башмет: Я, конечно, не Гагарин, но тоже был первым

ФК «Оренбург» на сборах в Турции сыграл вничью с ЦСКА (Москва) – 1:1

Воскресное утро в Новой Москве

Музей Победы вошел в топ-3 рейтинга российский музеев за 2022 год

Спорткомплекс с бассейном и игровым залом возведут в Западном Дегунине

Первенство по хоккею в Клину

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости


Моргенштерн назвал умершего в 27 лет рэпера Yung Trappa "трушным отморозком"

News Every Day

Intel Arc A770: 3 Month Performance Check-In

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости

Персональные новости