A UN Commandment- ZERO Tolerance for ALL Forms of Violence

Expressing my utmost condemnation for the terrorist attacks in Côte d'Ivoire and Ankara, Turkey that killed innocent civilians, it is with great urgency that we resort to solidarity and preservation of peace and security in turbulent times of terror. 

I fully support UN Security Council Resolution 2272 (2016) for combating sexual violence and abuse by UN peacekeepers. I also strongly applaud all recommendations, measures and efforts undertaken by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for greater accountability and for his proposal “to repatriate a particular military unit or formed police unit of a contingent when there is credible evidence of widespread or systemic sexual exploitation and abuse by that unit.”

The peacekeeping missions represent a truly valuable and essential platform for building synergies and maintaining security globally. In order to retain their effectiveness and significance, all acts of sexual exploitation must be fully investigated and appropriate measures must be undertaken. Sexual violence cannot and will not be tolerated. Anyone who engages in this kind of behavior and commits sexual violations should not be exempt and should be held accountable. 

At the same time, we must not jeopardize the value and meaning of peacekeeping. I am in full accordance and want to stress the following aspect of the UN Security Council Resolution 2272 (2016): 

“Honoring the heroic work of tens of thousands of United Nations peacekeepers, underscoring that the United Nations should not let the actions of a few tarnish the achievements of the whole and commending the troop- and police-contributing countries that have taken steps to prevent, investigate and hold accountable their personnel for acts of sexual exploitation and abuse.”

Nevertheless, the UN Peacekeeping missions are indispensible pillars for creating and maintaining sustainable peace, aiding in the process of disarmament and assimilation in the nations at stake. Peacekeeping not only represents the backbone in the UN security architecture, but is also one of the most effective measures in dealing with the spread of terrorism and violence.  

Investing in the peacekeeping dimension of the UN is one of the highest priorities on my agenda and it will remain as such because we must create a world reliant on peace and security and not violence and extremism.

14 March 2016

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas