More than 50 countries warned the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday that they demanded that members of the UN organization who committed sexual abuse be held to account.
People who have experienced sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment must also receive appropriate support, countries said at the UN health agency's Executive Board meeting.
WHO has been urged to act after widespread sexual abuse by aid workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) came to light in 2020.
British Ambassador Simon Manley delivered a joint statement on behalf of 57 countries expressing "
" over the accusations.
These countries include but are not limited to the 27 EU Member States, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Chile, Japan, USA, Canada, Australia , Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea and Ukraine.
They acknowledged that progress has been made in recent years and hailed the courage of victims and whistleblowers who have dared to speak out.
We encourage WHO leadership to lead by example in these areas, including establishing clear lines of accountability
,” reads the text of the joint statement.
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They called for the adoption of a victims and survivors centered approach.
Complaints must be dealt with quickly and perpetrators of abuse must be held to account, so we strongly support efforts to strengthen the investigative capacity of the WHO
,” adds the text.
The 34-member WHO Executive Board is responsible for advising the World Health Assembly of member states - the Organization's decision-making body - and implementing its decisions.