16 October 2013
Statement by Mr. Hossein Gharibi Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement before the Sixth Committee
68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
on Agenda Item 78: “Criminal Accountability of United Nations Officials and Experts on Mission”
New York, 16 October 2013
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Non-Aligned Movement takes note of the Report contained in document A/68/173. As we have expressed on previous occasions, the Non-Aligned Movement attaches great importance to the issue of criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission, bearing in mind its significant contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security under the auspices of the United Nations. As we speak, NAM Countries contribute over 87% of the peace-keeping personnel in the field. The NAM member Countries are the major recipients of these peace-keeping missions, at the same time.
The Non-Aligned Movement expresses its appreciation for the outstanding contributions and sacrifices of U.N. peacekeepers. The Movement stresses, however, that all U.N. peacekeeping personnel should perform their duties in a manner that preserves the image, credibility, impartiality, and integrity of the Unite Nations. The NAM emphasizes the importance of maintaining a policy of zero tolerance in addressing all cases of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeeping personnel.
The Non-Aligned Movement takes note of the work undertaken by the Ad Hoc Committee in the framework of a working group on the criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission during its three sessions held in 2007, 2008 and 2012.
The Non-Aligned Movement looks forward to continuing the consideration in the Sixth Committee of the Report by the Group of Legal Experts on ensuring the accountability of United Nations staff and experts on mission with respect to criminal acts committed in peacekeeping operations (Document A/60/980), established by the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 59/300, in its sixty eighth session.
We are satisfied with the outcome of the work in the Sixth Committee with regard to international cooperation, which shall further enhance and ensure accountability within the Organization.
In this sense, we take note of the comprehensive strategy on assistance and support to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations staff and related personnel which was adopted by the General Assembly resolution 62/214. This Strategy will help to mitigate the suffering of the victims of sexual exploitation and abuse as well as offer social support, legal services and medical attention, among other things.
Likewise, the Non-Aligned Movement emphasizes the need to implement, without delay, the General Assembly resolution 61/291, which amends the revised draft model Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). We believe that this process will strengthen accountability mechanisms and contribute to guarantee due process with respect to investigations of acts of sexual exploitation and abuse.
In this connection, we also believe that the full implementation by all Member States of General Assembly resolutions 62/63, 63/119, 64/110 and A/65/20 could contribute to bridge up any jurisdictional gaps, if they exist. Subsequently, an assessment can be undertaken to explore if there is any need for further measures by the General Assembly. The Movement notes that important policy and remedial measures have been agreed but still need to be implemented. We continue to believe that progress in short term measures is also needed.
The NAM reiterates that it is still premature to discuss a draft convention on criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission. We believe that for the time being the work of the Committee must focus on substantive matters and leave matters of form for a subsequent stage.
I thank you.