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Security Council denounces abuse by UN peacekeepers

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] Tuesday for the first time condemned acts of sexual abuse and exploitation [UN press release] committed by UN peacekeepers and urged countries contributing troops to work to prevent such behavior from occurring in the future. A statement drafted by the US was read encouraging member states to avoid situations such as that seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo [BBC country profile] where peacekeeping personnel and civilian staff are accused of rape, pedophilia, and bribing hungry children to trade sex acts for food or money [JURIST report]. Internal UN investigations [JURIST report] beginning in December 2004 have resulted in the dismissal of five UN staff members and nine more being subjected to disciplinary proceedings. The Security Council's statement asks Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official website] to include in his reports the ways in which a zero-tolerance policy [JURIST report] is being implemented. Reuters has more.

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