UN chief calls for continuation of campaign against sexual exploitation


United Nations, Sep 19 : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday took stock of four years of efforts against sexual exploitation and abuse in the UN system and called for the continuation of the campaign. "Today marks four years since the high-level meeting on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, when I called on world leaders to stand with the UN to put an end to this scourge. Member states and the UN together pledged to strengthen the organisation's effectiveness in preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, and to put the rights and dignity of victims at the center of our efforts," Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying. "Four years on, we know that to make zero tolerance a reality and eradicate sexual exploitation and abuse, we must address its root causes. We also need to expand the network of system-wide advocates across our peace, humanitarian and development programs; create an enabling environment to encourage victims to come forward; and provide access to quality support and services," he said. Member states must also uphold their obligations by addressing allegations referred by the UN to national authorities, holding perpetrators accountable, and resolving paternity claims, said Guterres. "Progress over the past four years provides clear lessons for the future. Above all, we must be vigilant and spare no effort to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and uphold the rights and dignity of victims," he said. /IANS


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