NEWS

Our Clean Record Praised

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Police Commissioner, Unaisi Bolatolu-Vuniwaqa, has acknowledged Fiji’s clean record with regards to claims of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). Speaking at the
24 Jun 2018 12:36
Our Clean Record Praised
UNMISS Police Commissioner Unaisi Bolatolu-Vuniwaqa.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Police Commissioner, Unaisi Bolatolu-Vuniwaqa, has acknowledged Fiji’s clean record with regards to claims of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).

Speaking at the UNMISS medal presentation to six officers this week, Commissioner Vuniwaqa said: “While I acknowledge Fiji’s clean record with regards to SEA, it is my plea that we will continue with the trend and in doing so, protecting our own reputation as well as that of our nation.”

A United Nations (UN) report stated that more than 50 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving personnel serving with the UN and its partners in the field were received in the first three months of this year.

“I would like to close with a reminder on the mission’s Zero Tolerance on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.

We all have a role to play in the prevention and reporting of SEA cases,” UNMISS Commissioner Vuniwaqa said.

The UN report also stated that the allegations had not all been verified and many were in the preliminary assessment phase.

They involve 66 victims, including 13 girls under the age of 18, and 16 victims whose age remains unknown, the report highlighted.

UN Deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said overall 54 allegations had been reported between January 1 and March 31, 2018.

Fourteen cases related to ongoing peacekeeping operations; 18 from UN agencies, funds and programmes; while 21 relate to implementing partners, and one to a member of a non-UN international force.

Mr Haq said that with more than 95,000 civilians and 90,000 uniformed personnel working for the UN, sexual exploitation and abuses were not reflective of the conduct of the majority of those who served the organisation.

“But every allegation involving our personnel undermines our values and principles and the sacrifice of those who serve with pride and professionalism in some of the most dangerous places in the world,” Mr Haq told journalists at the UN Headquarters.

UN chief António Guterres has committed to a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual exploitation and abuse.

To date, 826 strong men and women of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) are serving in Sinai, Iraq, Syria, and South Sudan.

The Fiji Police Force and Fiji Corrections Services in later years have also followed the footprints of the RFMF in peacekeeping.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj



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