Ms. Adhyanti S. Wirajuda Suryana
Agenda item 78:
Criminal Accountability of United Nations Officials
and Experts on Mission
New York, 13 October 2009
First, I wish to express the appreciation of my delegation to the Secretary-General for his report on this very important issue as contained in document A/64/183 and its addendum.
Before I continue, my delegation wishes to align with the statement delivered earlier by the distinguished representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
My delegation would like to reiterate its deep respect for the men and women who work for the United Nations or serve as experts in missions anywhere in the world.
We are convinced that these faithful servants of the United Nations are the first to recognize the significance of putting up excellent conduct in the performance of their responsibilities.
When we talk about international peace and security, it is these men and women who constitute its instruments on the field, and sometimes, unfortunately, they pay for peace with their own lives. It is as important that we take the very best measures to protect them, just as we expect them to represent our Organization at their most cultured and law-abiding.
Without doubt, these international servants understand the sensitive nature of the work of the United Nations. Should the trust invested in them be violated and an expert or official found to have engaged in criminal conduct, he or she must face justice.
Indeed, in view of the image of the United Nations, not only must such an offender face justice, he or she must be seen to be facing justice. This is important because the credibility of the United Nations is an important factor in its success wherever it serves.
To that extent, we are a strong supporter of General Assembly resolution 63/119, and we are pleased that the report of the Secretary General reflects the efforts of an increasing number of States to adhere to its provisions. We believe that it is important that States establish jurisdiction over any crimes that may be committed by their nationals serving in United Nations missions as officials or experts.
As a troop-contributor, Indonesia has always stressed the need to establish high standards of behavior for peacekeepers. We must uphold the law and bring to justice perpetrators of criminal acts of sexual exploitations and abuse-related crimes during their assignment.
It is obvious by now that in a conflict zone where a United Nations mission is deployed, the peacekeeper is seen to be the United Nations. People do not see individuals, but the institution they represent. That is why, in cases of criminal conduct which involves a peacekeeper, expert or official, we must fully implement the “zero tolerance policy.” This is of particular importance where the allegation concerns sexual exploitation and abuse. We therefore support inclusion of this “zero tolerance policy” in each UNSC peacekeeping mandate.
It has always been Indonesia’s position that in addition to training, other awareness-raising practical measures are required in order to strengthen United Nations standards of conduct. In this regard, Indonesia is pleased to be collaborating with the Integrated Training Service (ITS) of the Policy, Evaluation and Training Division and Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in organizing the forthcoming “Training of Trainers Program.” Part of the objective is to familiarize the trainers of Troop Contributing Countries (TCC’s) with the revised pre-deployment training standards called the Pre-deployment Training Materials and Specialized Training Materials. The Training of Trainers program, to be held in Jakarta from 19-30 October, 2009, will be attended by 21 participants representing 9 countries, and will be the first training of its kind in the region.
We are confident that the training and awareness-raising activities of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support in the past three years are making significant impact on the reaching of high standards for personnel on the field. Together with the Conduct and Discipline Unit at both Headquarters and some missions, we believe that significant development has been made by the Secretariat in tackling this issue.
Furthermore, in his report, the Secretary General draws attention to the provision of substantive input through the participation of the Department of Field Support and non-governmental organization task force on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse of the Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs and the Executive Committee on Peace and Security. This includes technical input in the development of two sets of training material on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, one for managers and the other for focal points. Indonesia welcomes these contributions and we are pleased that Indonesia has been chosen as one of the countries for which the programs have been piloted.
Lastly, Indonesia would like to express its conviction that the strong commitment of both sending and receiving countries, through their respective criminal law, is the greatest assurance to ensuring that perpetrators of serious crimes will not escape justice. As long as both concerned nations have this commitment to justice, perpetrators cannot get away. What is needed, therefore, are ways of enhancing cooperation among Member States and the United Nations in this regard. Cooperation on practical ways to enhance higher standards and strengthen awareness-raising measures for peacekeeping and expert missions is imperative. Continuing cooperation is also needed in the event of unfortunate misconduct, including through investigation and collection of evidence.
I thank you.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
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