On Victims of Sexual Exploitation of United Nations Uniform Personnel: Foreign Minister Kemayah Calls for Creation of Trust Fund
Liberia’s Foreign Minister, H.E. Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., has called on the United Nations to create a trust fund in order to cater to the victims of sexual exploitation and abuse of United Nations uniform personnel in their country of assignment.
According to him, setting up the Trust Fund will enable countries that empathize with the victims to contribute to that worthy endeavor at the level of the UN.
Foreign Minister Kemayah said the appropriate steps need to be taken in the implementation of the victims’ rights approach for the resolution of the paternity and child maintenance claims related to children born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse of personnel of the United Nations Mission in Liberia.
The Chief Liberian Diplomat made these remarks on Monday, August 21, 2023, when the UN Envoy, Madam Jane Connors, Assistant Secretary-General and Victims’ Rights Advocate for the United Nations, paid a courtesy call on him at his Foreign Ministry Office on Capitol Hill.
The Dean of the Cabinet recounted that the United Nations needs to utilize the 2007 Resolution in order to hold uniform personnel accountable for acts committed during their stay in the victims’ country, adding that countries whose citizens committed sexual exploitation and abuse of UN personnel should ensure that their citizens account for acts they committed while serving in the UN Mission in Liberia.
He then used the occasion to convey a special message on behalf of President Dr. George Manneh Weah to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres for creating this position, which he said has a direct bearing on Liberia because of the civil war in the country. The Liberian Foreign Minister also indicated that Liberia has children who were born to uniform personnel serving in the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia during the country’s civil crisis.
For her part, Madam Connors said the Office of the Victims' Rights Advocate is to support victims of sexual exploitation and abuse who have children that were born of the misconduct of troopers who were serving under the United Nations flag.
Madam Connors mentioned that the special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse are a new approach, stressing that the United Nations will put the rights and dignity of victims at the forefront of its efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.
Victims’ Rights Advocate, Ms. Connors, said her office will support an integrated, strategic response to victim assistance in coordination with United Nations system actors working in Liberia with the responsibility for assisting victims.
She intoned that she will work closely with government institutions, civil society, and national and legal human rights organizations to build networks of support to help ensure that the full effect of local laws, including remedies for victims, are brought to bear.