The UN Peacekeeper has long been instrumental to maintaining the global order of security and cooperation outlined in the charter of these United Nations, being a key factor in the retention and restoration of peace in matters such as the 1948 truce between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the Suez Crisis of 1956, and the Rwandan Civil war of the early 1990s. The Security Council especially has relied on the peacekeeper, as we are the only committee with the power to deploy them; but, as the old adage goes, “With great power comes great responsibility,” so we now meet to see what responsibility we have in developments regarding the decorum of our peacekeepers.
The figure of 2,000 incidents of peacekeeper sexual misconduct reported since 1990 is an alarming one, but more alarming still is the figure of only 53 of these incidents resulting in disciplinary action. This is simply unacceptable for both for our reputation and our legitimacy as the supervisory body for international relations. How are we to enforce the humanitarian morals outlined in our charter and the Peacekeeper Standards of Conduct if we cannot expect our own men to be held to these same morals? It is clear that we have only our past oversight to blame, and that now it falls in our hands as the security council to fix this serious problem.
The Federal Republic of Germany currently has peacekeepers deployed in 9 UNSC missions on 4 continents, among them Lebanon (UNIFIL), Kosovo (UNMIK), and the Western Sahara (MINURSO), The Federal Republic of Germany contributes 6.389 percent of the UN Peacekeeping budget, so our stake in this matter is no small one and it is of our utmost interest that this problem be solved as efficiently as possible. The first issue we must address is that of our procedure in dealing with matters of this nature. It is the belief of the Federal Republic of Germany that we must amend this process by sending all reports to the Office of Internal Oversight Services initially, and following their investigation, to the nation of the peacekeeper in question. Following an OIOS investigation, the power shall fall on the leading body of the peacekeeping mission to dismiss the offending officer if they are found guilty, and then onto the nation of the offending officer to administer any legal consequences it deems necessary.
Similarly, the UN Security Council should attempt to make the system of reporting peacekeeper abuse easier for those affected. We fear that the already high count of 2,000 reported cases may be a low estimate and would appreciate the ability to report an incident of sexual misconduct to be more advertised than it currently is. The Federal Republic of Germany is confident that if we will consider its proposals if we are committed to stopping this serious issue and looks forward to collaborating with the other members of this Security Council to put an end to peacekeeper sexual misconduct.
- Alex Calderwood