Naming Offending Countries?

According to Reuters, U.N. officials are finally acknowledging that sexual assault by peacekeepers is not limited to African missions such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Ivory Coast. A recent examination revealed that widespread allegations of sexual exploitation have emerged in all *sixteen missions* worldwide.
In an attempt to address the issue, the U.N. is now threatening to expel countries that refuse to prosecute its offending soldiers. U.S. State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, said that the U.S. would consider supporting the move. He also noted that, “We have worked very carefully with the U.N. to try to get them to…make sure that in fact prevention becomes a top priority for U.N. peacekeeping operations and troop contributors.” While I’m glad that the U.S. is willing to back the effort, I’d say that we still have a lot of work left to do with our own soldiers in combat.
Overall, I think this is a *really* important step for the U.N. to take. Since the U.N. does not have jurisdiction over foreign soldiers, it can only demand that a country prosecute their offenders at home. With such limited power, naming countries that refuse to address sexual assault by their soldiers, and requiring them to leave the mission is probably the most pragmatic step the U.N. can take.
While this, of course, would then create new problems–mainly, who would take the place of these soldiers–I still think that it has the potential to create change. Being named as a country that refuses to prosecute its rapists never makes for good international PR. And for many developing countries, there are *big* economic incentives for being a part of a mission (i.e. soldiers earn significantly more working for the U.N. than they could at home). In any case, I think it’s worth a try.
U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno, noted that, “The whole issue of the professionalism of peacekeeping is at stake.” Yeah. Well, that and the lives of the hundreds of women and children who are the victims of these assaults.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted February 26, 2005 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Actually, there’s one more thing the U.N. can do on these cases: make a referral, via the Security Council, to the International Criminal Court at the Hague — which is currently considering action on the Congo and in Darfur, both of which have significant gender violence components. This is a real court: they have agreements with Interpol to seize suspects and nearly 200 ratifications, despite U.S. efforts to undermine them.
    Women’s groips, especially the defunct Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice, now working-in house at the ICC), have worked very hard to get gender protections into the establishing statute, and the Court itself has been, since it started up in ’02, been assembling Victim Assistance Units and women’s bureaus.
    Given U.S. dominance at the Security Council, they’re less likely to refer than we would like. But it’s certainly an avenue the U.N. and activists, should push for,
    I wonder whether such a demand will circulate at this week’s Beijing + 10 review at the U.N. . It’s a fruitful way to build on the progress you just noted,

  2. Ursula Flavioni
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    The Minister of Finance of the USA promises to continue financing of the social program “Nation Health”.
    The president Barack Obama has approved these steps, having told that the administration “should undertake actions for protection of economic health of the nation“. He has added that the agents which have arrived in the budget of the country from taxes will be thus used.
    In turn, senator-republican Richard Shelby has estimated a total cost of support of financial sector of the country in billion dollars, approximately half from which will leave on the repayment of “bad debts”.
    The American budget have already spent this year 85 billion dollars for salvage of insurance company AIG and intend to spend about 200 billion dollars for return of hypothecary debts of agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
    The government of the USA has taken additional measures for stabilisation of the markets, in particular, has forbidden short-trading by stocks of the financial companies at stock exchanges till August, 2nd.

  3. Ursula Flavioni
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    The Minister of Finance of the USA promises to continue financing of the social program “Nation Health”.
    The president Barack Obama has approved these steps, having told that the administration “should undertake actions for protection of economic health of the nation“. He has added that the agents which have arrived in the budget of the country from taxes will be thus used.
    In turn, senator-republican Richard Shelby has estimated a total cost of support of financial sector of the country in billion dollars, approximately half from which will leave on the repayment of “bad debts”.
    The American budget have already spent this year 85 billion dollars for salvage of insurance company AIG and intend to spend about 200 billion dollars for return of hypothecary debts of agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
    The government of the USA has taken additional measures for stabilisation of the markets, in particular, has forbidden short-trading by stocks of the financial companies at stock exchanges till August, 2nd.

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