Our delegation welcomes the introduction of the various reports relating to agenda item 148, in particular the reports on special measures for protection from sexual explotation and abuse.
I would like to make the following observations:
Norway is appalled by the seemingly never-ending occurrence of new cases of sexual exploitation and abuse involving UN personnel. We fear that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Sexual exploitation and abuse can ruin the victims’ lives. It also undermines the credibility of the UN and detracts attention from the fact that the engagement of the UN, including its peacekeepers, is benefiting millions.
The Report of the Independent Review on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Central African Republic, lead by Marie Deschamps, disclosed serious deficiencies in the way the UN handles these cases.
We expect that the UN seizes this opportunity to make major and effective changes. It is of utmost importance for the credibility of the organization. We would appreciate an indication about the timing of the response from the Secretary-General to the Deschamps report. We support the increased transparency and other measures in this year's report by the Secretary-General on special measures.
We welcome Security Council Resolution 2272 of this year including the request that the Secretary-General replaces all units of a troop-contributing country if it has not taken the necessary steps to investigate and hold perpetrators responsible. We are encouraged to see that the UN is taking steps in this direction to make its zero tolerance policy a zero tolerance reality.
Furthermore, we welcome Special Coordinator Jane Holl Lute’s commitment to creating an environment that will measurably strengthen the UN’s ability to prevent and respond to such cases and we look forward to the results of her work.
Finally, Norway strongly supports the Secretary-General’s recent decision to establish a trust fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse and has decided to allocate one million NOK to the trust fund.