Press briefing by Jane Holl Lute, Special Coordinator on Improving the United Nations Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. The Secretary-General’s 2018 report on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA,) presented today (13 Mar) at United Nations Headquarters, shows a “downward trend in the number of allegations that have been reported.” The Special Coordinator on Improving the United Nations Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Jane Holl Lute, told reporters that the report “underscores the Secretary-General’s consistent message that no one serving under the UN flag should be associated in any way with sexual exploitation and abuse.” Prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 71/278 and 71/297, the report provides information on measures to strengthen the system-wide response to sexual exploitation and abuse, including progress in the implementation of the zero-tolerance policy and the Secretary-General’s ‘new approach’ strategy outlined last year. Hall Lute recalled that the Secretary-General had laid out for areas that the organizations efforts should be focused on. She said, “those four areas are, putting victims at the centre of our efforts, both to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and to respond rapidly and effectively when it occurs. Secondly, to end impunity, to work more closely with the member states on the proper types of judicial and administrative proceedings to ensure that those who are guilty of these acts are held to justice. Third, to increase our partnership and our openness with member states also and importantly with civil society to bring in outside ideas and energies, initiatives, and then finally to strengthen our communications on all aspects of this issue including importantly the realization that very often gender awareness lies at the heart of these crimes.” On the findings of the report, the Special Coordinator highlighted the decrease in the number of allegations reported. She said, “in 2016 you may remember there were 165 allegations reported. In 2017, there were 138. Peacekeeping and special political missions have seen a decrease from 104 in 2016 to 62 in 2017. And other UN entities and their implementing partners however have seen an increase from 42 allegations in 2016 to 75 in 2017.” The Secretary-General instructed senior managers of all entities with operations and programmes in the field to undertake risk assessments and to propose mitigation measures.

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