5th Commitee: Administrative and budgetary aspects of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations

Statement on behalf of Norway by Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway Ms. May-Elin Stener on 8 May 2017.

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Madam Chair,

Thank you for giving me the floor. I would like to thank Special Coordinator Ms. Jane Holl Lute and Chair of the ACABQ Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu for presenting their respective reports on improving the United Nations’ response to sexual exploitation and abuse.

Sexual exploitation and abuse continues to undermine the credibility of the UN and to ruin the lives of victims. 

Preventing SEA is a leadership responsibility. Norway therefore welcomes the Secretary-General’s intention to call for a high-level meeting on SEA in the margins of the general debate of the seventy-second session of the General Assembly. The main purpose must be to commit not only the UN Member States, but also the whole UN system, to make zero tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse a reality. As noted by the Secretary-General, SEA may occur in any part of the UN system.

The strategy presented in the Secretary-General’s report of 28 February is a good basis for improving the organization’s system-wide approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse.

The plight of victims is a key concern. Norway welcomes the victim-centered approach, and the focus on the rights and assistance to victims in physical and psychological terms, as well as in legal matters. This is very much in line with the spirit of resolution 71/278 on sexual exploitation and abuse adopted by General Assembly on 10 March this year.

Norway encourages further elaboration of the role and functioning of the Trust Fund for victims support, and calls on fellow Member States to contribute to the fund.

In light of the serious deficits detected by the Independent review of SEA by peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic, Norway would have liked to see a clear strategy for assigning responsibilities, defining communication lines and procedures and increasing the accountability within the UN system as a whole.

Madam Chair,

Norway welcomes an increased focus on prevention, and how to address risk assessments and mitigation measures to reduce the number of victims.

Better reporting, strengthened investigations, improved follow-up and ending impunity all point in the right direction.

Norway would have liked to see a more thorough elaboration of the relationship and division of labour between the UN and the Troop- and Police Contributing Countries in managing the process of investigation and prosecution as well as the reporting on the outcome.   

Norway welcomes the strengthening of measures to ensure that UN partners and non-UN forces uphold the standards set for the UN. We fully support the Secretary-General’s intention to work with regional organizations to this end.

We believe that zero impunity is an attainable goal, given that the new course of action is developed in the spirit of transparency, inclusivity and trust and in mutual respect for the roles, responsibilities and duties of the different stakeholders.

Norway will engage constructively in the deliberations to reach a consensus on resource requirements for the measures indicated in the Secretary-General’s report. We should focus on introducing systems and procedures, as well as new roles of behaviour – as a significant cultural shift is needed to make the UN policy of zero-tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse a reality.


Thank you, Madam Chair.