U.S. official blasts UN over response to sexual abuse by peacekeepers

A senior U.S. official is questioning why a Canadian police officer was given only a brief nine-day suspension for engaging in sexual exploitation while serving on a UN peacekeeping mission in impoverished Haiti, Globe and Mail reported.

The case has come under scrutiny because it is the only recorded case of a UN peacekeeper receiving punishment from his home country for sexual abuse or exploitation last year, despite allegations against at least 89 members of UN peacekeeping missions.

“He was suspended for nine whole days – nine days,” said Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, during debate on Thursday at the UN Security Council over the escalating problem of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers.

She cited the case as part of her scathing critique of the UN’s failure to act against peacekeepers who engage in sexual abuse or exploitation. Although she did not mention the nationality of the police officer, a UN report made clear he was a Canadian serving in the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

Haitian human rights leaders make the case for electoral verification at Washington roundtable

On Friday, March 4, 2016 representatives from the Organization of American States (OAS) and State Department joined two visiting Haitian human rights leaders and two U.S.-based academics in a discussion on Haiti’s current electoral crisis. Organized by the Haiti Advocacy Working Group (HAWG) and sponsored by Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY), the discussion focused on the causes of the postponement of the electoral crisis, the selection of Provisional President Jocelerme Privert and efforts to move the electoral process forward, the Center for Economic and Policy Research reported.

The five panelists made opening remarks and then moderator, Dr. Robert Maguire of the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, directed an open discussion among the speakers.

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