The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon has set up a panel on the External Independent Review of the UN response to allegation of sexual exploitation, abuse and other crimes by members of foreign military forces in the Central African Republic (CAR).
The panel is to be chaired by Ms. Marie Deschamps of Canada, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
The other two members are Hassan Jallow of the Gambia, the Prosecutor of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and Ms. Yasmin Sooka of South Africa, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa.
In a statement on Monday in New York, Ban said he remains deeply concerned about the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by foreign military forces not under the command of the UN in CAR, and the UN system’s response to these allegations.
NAN reports that the Secretary-General had previously announced his intention to set up a panel to conduct an External Independent Review into this matter.
Ban said the panel would review the UN response to the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by foreign military forces not under UN command and assess the adequacy of the procedures in place.
This, he said, would include any allegations of abuse of authority or retaliation by senior officials.
The panel, he said, may also look at any shortcomings in existing procedures covering serious crimes by UN and related personnel, host State forces and non-State actors that it may become aware of during its review.
Ban said the panel would conduct its work independently and will receive unrestricted access to all UN records and full access to staff members and other UN personnel.
The UN, he said, would make its best efforts to facilitate the access of the panel to non-UN personnel.
In addition to those that the panel may reach out to, Ban said, any person who wishes to provide information relevant to the External Independent Review is encouraged to contact the panel directly through an external email address that will be announced shortly.
He said that the panel would begin its work in July and submit its report within ten weeks.
Ban also mandated the panel to make recommendations on how the UN should respond to similar allegations in the future and on any shortcomings in existing procedures.
The Secretary-General pledged to make the report public, subject to due process and confidentiality considerations.