Remarks at Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Implementing a Zero Tolerance Policy (Agenda Item 132)

Brian Conroy
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
June 20, 2019


Thank you, Mr. President. The United States welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to effectively address the scourge of sexual exploitation and abuse and to reaffirm our collective support for the United Nations zero tolerance policy and the Secretary-General’s related efforts to strengthen its implementation.

Sexual exploitation and abuse inflicts significant harm on marginalized populations already vulnerable to violence, the very communities who look to the UN for protection and assistance in some of the world’s most dangerous places. When those responsible are not held accountable for their deplorable actions, the commission of SEA also undermines the legitimacy and effectiveness of the UN, in particular in its field operations, agencies, funds, and programs.

The United States welcomes future engagement with member states on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse.

Mr. President, the United States strongly supports Secretary-General Guterres’ authority to implement the zero tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse. Today, we reaffirm that we all must continue to do our utmost to address this scourge wherever it may exist within the UN system, and to promote accountability for perpetrators of these unacceptable acts.

Thank you.