May 14, New York: A top United Nations official, briefing the General Assembly on the challenges being faced and progress being made to end the exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers, has commended Sri Lanka for its measure to serve justice to a victim of sexual abuse by a UN peacekeeper.
Atul Khare, UN Under-Secretary-General for Field Support in particular, commended Sri Lanka, which he said has arranged a one-time ex-gratia payment to a victim and child born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Speaking at an informal meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York Friday, Mr. Khare said in 2015, the UN had made progress in facilitating paternity and child support claims against peacekeepers and mentioned Sri Lanka especially.
Reiterating that there can be no impunity for sexual exploitation and abuse, Mr. Khare stressed that if allegations against peacekeepers are substantiated, the Organization will "takes all action within its control." In addition the UN will continue to work with national authorities to ensure that justice is done.
Mr. Khare emphasized that the priority must be for the Organization to provide victims with support and assistance.
"First and foremost, the victims - many of whom are children - need our protection and support," he said.