Guterres looks for a face-saver as UN rocked by sex scandal in Israel

Geneva: United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres is facing a backlash after a video of an alleged sex act in a UN car in Tel Aviv, Israel went viral last week.

While Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN’s Secretary General,  Guterres, described the behaviour seen in the 18-second video as “abhorrent”, reports say that there are dozens of cases of UN officials involved in sexual misconduct.

 

For instance, according to a UN report, 175 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by UN staff members were reported along in 2019.

Of those allegations, 16 were substantiated, 15 were unsubstantiated and all others were still being investigated, the UN report said.

Commenting on the Tel Aviv incident, Dujarric said the behaviour “goes against everything we stand for and having been working to achieve in terms of fighting misconduct by UN staff.”

UN members, often dubbed ‘peacekeepers’, have been accused of numerous counts of rape in the Central African Republic in a 2015 HRW report. The long list of other countries where the UN officials abused vulnerable people include Bosnia, Cambodia, Congo, East Timor, Liberia, Sierra Leone and South Sudan, among others. The AP reported in 2017 about the case of a 14-year-old Congolese girl at a UN-run refugee camp. From the story, the camp itself seemed to be not a haven, but a place of abuse.

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