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Zero-Tolerance Policy: Peacekeeper Sexual Abuse

Visiting UN Mission In Liberia, Fréchette Stresses Zero-Tolerance Policy For Sexual Abuse By Peacekeepers

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette today spent a second day at the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) as part of an ongoing effort to emphasize the world body's zero tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers.

She met in the capital Monrovia with the UN Senior Management Team and the UN Country Team for Liberia, held a working-level meeting with UNMIL personnel working on these issues, and conducted a town hall meeting with the entire civilian and military staff of the Mission.

Accompanied by UNMIL chief and Special Representative Jacques Paul Klein, the Deputy Secretary-General visited the town of Greenville in the morning, reviewing Ethiopian peacekeepers and paying a courtesy call on Gyude Bryant, Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia.

Ms. Fréchette and Mr. Bryant discussed preparations for the 11 October national elections, the severe shortfall in donor funding for the reintegration of ex-combatants, progress on restructuring and retraining of the Liberian armed forces, and the need to ensure transparency and accountability in government and political institutions.

Mr. Klein also noted that any allegations of sexual exploitation or abuses would be taken very seriously at the highest level of the Mission.

The Deputy Secretary-General's trip this week to West Africa will also take her to the UN peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and Côte d'Ivoire.

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