The US Secretary of Defense and Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence said their governments would work towards stamping out sexual abuse in United Nations peacekeepers as world leaders meet in London today to discuss peacekeeping efforts.
“Despite their achievements, there are many well-documented incidents of peacekeepers failing to live up to the standards expected of them,” wrote the two secretaries in The Times.
“We must have a zero-tolerance approach to sexual exploitation or abuse. Any peacekeeper found guilty must be held accountable.”
“Improving performance also means improving leadership,” they added. “Leaders must be well qualified, selected on merit, and empowered to manage their forces in difficult environments.”
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A group of high ranking Sri Lankan military officials are in London to take part in the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial summit.
Sri Lanka recently announced that its troops have been invited to join the UN peacekeeping force in Mali. The Sri Lanka army has been accused of committing mass atrocities against the Tamil people during the final stages of the armed conflict in 2009, and was previously found to be guilty of sexual trafficking and sexual abuse of minors in former UN peacekeeping roles.