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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  April 15, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm EDT

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website in real time it is posting credible allegations along with the nationality of the alleged perpetrators. and with this information, we are pursuing a comprehensive approach to track individual cases and follow up with the appropriate authorities. in march, u.s./u.n. brought the issue of sexual abuse, as you know, to the security council with resolution 2272. another significant step forward for accountability. the resolution endorses the secretary-general's decision to repatriate peacekeeping units that have demonstrated a pattern of abuse which is a clear indication of insufficient command and control. and the secretary-general is empowered to repatriate all the troops from a mission, from a particular troop or police contributing country if it is has not taken the appropriate steps to investigate allegation
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against its personnel or has not held them accountable. our goal is to see resolution 2272 implemented fully as a means of powerful prevention by ending once and for all the culture of impunity that has persisted for too long. the other part of the this strategy is to increase the overall supply of peacekeepers such that when military units or contingents are repatriated, there are others that are well trained and vetted, able to deploy quickly and take their place. the u.n. has come a long way in responding to this scourge of sexual abuse with strong support from the united states. it has built up its investigative capabilities, increased training and vetting of troops, implemented greater community outreach to increase awareness about sexual abuse, instituted penalties for offenders, and is improving victims assistance. but clearly,en t given the shoc scale and gravity of the sexual abuse incidents being reported
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from the central african republic and other missions, these actions by themselves are not sufficient to address the crisis. the u.n.'s recent commitments to greater transparency and accountability absolutely must result in a long overdue sea change that ends impunity. our work is not done. we continue to make it our highest priority both in new york and bilaterally to see perpetrators held to account and sorely lacking integrity restored to peacekeeping. thank you. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, members of the committee, i'm honored to be here with you today to talk about this horrific issue that demands urgent, meaningful, and sustained effort. sexual exploitation and abuse by u.n. peacekeepers is a cancer that demands the most comprehensive treatment possible and are well justified collective outrage is only useful if it's paired with
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action. i begin by noting that the united states halong been a vocal advocate for increased transparency and accountability as it relates to allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by u.n. peacekeepers. we are pleased that this push for transparency is finally starting to find its first traction. an while it is clear as you know that the actions taken so far by the u.n. and member states have fallen far short of the mark, certain recent actions taken by the secretary-general reflect a new seriousness and create important new avenues for member state engagement. some of these steps include improved reporting systems for victims and their communities, the creation of immediate response teams to collect and secure evidence for use in investigations, withholding of paymentins to troop and police contributing missions for their staff that have been sent home under allegations of misconduct, and the creation of task force
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in all peacekeeping missions on sexual exploitation and abuse. in february the secretary-general took the unprecedented step of sending home an entire contingent from the democratic republic of congo who had been working in the central african republic based on credible allegations of exploitation and abuse. this is the first time that the secretary-general has taken such a step. it sets an important precedent and we believe it sends an important signal to troop and police contributing countries. we particularly welcome the secretary-general's action to identify the nationalities of those uniformed personnel who are accused of committing sexual exploitation and abuse including this information online in near real time. troop and police contributing countries have the ultimate responsibility for the discipline of their personnel. and by providing this information publicly, the u.n. can motivate these countries to
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do much better. it also allows member states to track performance, to recognize serious patterns after abuse, and to use our diplomatic weight to urge to repatriate units that have a systemic pattern of misconduct and to ban countries from peacekeeping where appropriate. this new level of information has also allowed us to direct our bilateral engagement where it's most needed. last month we launch an effort to reach out to every country on the u.n.'s list in the secretary-general's report at senior levels to misch three goals, first make sure they were aware of the report and the allegations concerning their troops, second to demand credible action in terms of investigation and holding those responsible to account, including through prosecution where appropriate where crimes have been committed, thirdly to identify those areas where the
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united states might provide capacity building assistance to help these countries better investigate and prosecute crimes involving sexual exploitation and abuse. i also note that the secretary-general's report included allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against civilian personnel of the u.n. and different agencies, and based on that information we are following up directly with those agencies to make sure that they take all necessary action. mr. chairman, any instance of sexual exploitation and abuse does very real damage to the credibility of the institution of peacekeeping. a tool that's never been more important for global peace and security and one on which the united states relies to stabilize conflict situations that could otherwise spiral out of control. last year the president hosted the leaders summit on peacekeeping and issued a new presidential memorandum reaffirming our strong support for u.n. peace operations and directing new efforts to strengthen and modernize these operations. these efforts are well timed to
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bolster our actions on sexual exploitation and abuse. for example, new commitments in the president's summit last year included 40,000 troops and police, and this should send a message to troop and police contributing countries that peace operations are no longer a seller's market. this increased capability should allow the u.n. to prioritize better performing troops in its deployments and also give it the flexibility to replace units potentially withdrawn for misconduct. mr. chairman, my champions leagues -- my colleagues with me today are well placed to speak specifically to the issues of the reforms we've pursued at the u.n. and the training and capacity we provide to peacekeeping troops in the field. i will conclude by saying by their very mandate the vast majority of u.n. peacekeepers are serving under a mandate to protect civilians who are under
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threat of physical violence. exploiting or abusing these same vulnerable people is appalling and an unconscionable breach of trust, and we greatly appreciate the attention this committee is bringing to the issue and share your outrage at what's been allowed to occur. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> general? >> good afternoon, mr. chairman, ranking member carden, members of the committee. thank you for letting me speak today. i, too, like my colleagues am deemly troubled of what brings us here today and the things we have to discuss about these events and incidents. among my duties at the state department, i'm responsible for providing executive leadership for the global peace operations initiative. i'll take just a moment to give you a little bit of background on that, then i'll discuss its intersection with preventing sexual exploitation and abuse. g-boy, the global peace operations initiative, is our flagship security assistance program that focuses on building
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capacity for other countries who deploy peacekeepers to support united nations or other regional missions. for most part it is a training and equipment kind of mission, although we also focus on building their self-sufficiency to do training for themselves and importantly of note one of our key program objectives is to promote the role of women and to promote better gender integration into their operations. gpoi has been very successful at helping other countries step up to their responsibilities for international security. it also allows us in our own u.s. forces to focus our military at other priorities besides peacekeeping. to date, the program has facilitated the deployment of more than 200,000 personnel to 29 different operations around the world. and today gpoy partner, although they only compromise 40% of the troop contributing country, punch well above their weight class by providing more than 70% of the troops forming those
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missions. through gpoy and our diplomatic engagement, we are working to expand the base of the number of countries and the number of troops that are available to the u.n. to support these pimission. i would echo what my colleagues said by saying more troops would raise the standard not only for mission performance but also conduct and discipline. let me be clear for the record, i think i share the sentiment of everyone in here, each and every instance of sexual exploitation and abuse by any peacekeeper is absolutely unacceptable, not only for the harm it causes directly but it also fundamentally undermines the mission and legitimacy of what's trying to occur. gpoy is very deliberately structured to try to proactively address sexual exploitation and abuse. in program execution, we directed all appropriate individual unit training has elements of academics and things
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that go against sexual exploitation and abuse built into their training. we start in the classroom. we move on to scenario-based training, and then we move on in our exercise-related training at both the individual unit and leader level. we pay particular attention to training leaders, because we're keenly aware of the very important role that leadership plays and how significant positive impact of effective leadership can have down range once they are in mission. and gpoy also works to promote the role of women and to promote gender integration. we specifically seek out women as trainers because we understand the positive impact that can have. but over the past five years, the 50 active countries that are gpoy partners, they've nearly doubled the number of women they deploy to mission for u.n. piece kaeping. to give you a point of contrast, the 71 countries that are not
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gpoy partners, they've had a decrease of 16% of the number of women that are being deployed. so i'm very comfortable that gpoy is having a positive impact in this area and through that influence. now, while we're proud of gpoy's efforts to address this issue, and i do believe we are positively shaping behavior and outcome, no amount of training, no better gender integration is a panacea. as we know, there are far too many serious instances that still occur, and i, like my colleague, and hopeful that recent u.n. policy changes to promote transparency will help. they've got to continue to follow through. and if a gpoy partner fails to follow up on these allegations, if they fail to take responsible action through their jurisprudence system, then we have to be ready as a nation to consider suspending our security assistance. we have to take a very deliberate decision in how we do that. in the end, well-trained,
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well-disciplined, well-equipped units are the very billing blocks to effective peacekeeping. while there are many gpoy success stories out there, we're also very well aware that the track record is not perfect by any means. so whether it's directly or indirectly, through ongoing training, through expanding the role of women, we remain committed for improvement overseas with the u.n., with our partner countries, to rild us of this scourge of sexual exploitation and abuse. thank you for your time. i stand by for your questions. >> we thank you all for your testimony. look, my guess is that y'all are as upset about this as we are. you work in an organization that, whether it's at state, certainly at the u.n. we're trying to make something happen is almost impossible, and my sense is you probably do welcome
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a hearing like this to highlight the problems that exist. my understanding is that the level of violence, sexual abuse, kinds of things happening to vulnerable people that we're supposed to be protecting is actually much higher than is reported because the very people that are out there, quote, quote, quote, protecting populations are also protecting in many cases the human rights workers who may, in fact, be reporting this. so with that assumption, miss coleman, ambassador coleman, be appropriate that, in fact, the reporting levels are far lower than they otherwise would be because people out in the field, these peacekeeping folks, are there to protect them too, and there are concerns about when they're in the field making reports? >> thank you, senator, for that question. i think that you're absolutely
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correct to make the assumption that levels of reporting are below what they actually are. i think it's for a variety of reasons. i think that what we're seeing in the central african republic with a lot of the allegations coming to light now, in particular, parts of the country are because the security situation is improving and we're now able to send more people out to some of these remote areas where you have had a single country contingent, which in and of itself is a risk factor, which the u.n. is now recognizing, that in remote areas we shouldn't have single country contingents. so i think you're seeing an improvement in security, which is allowing people from the community to feel more safe and comfortable to come forward and report abuses. and what i can tell you, mr. chairman, is that i think in the coming months we're going to see more allegations coming to
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light. i don't think we've nearly seen the end of this problem. as the u.n. shines a spotlight on this issue, we're going to see more allegations, not fewer. >> which countries are the ones that are the worst? name them. >> you know, i wish i could say that this was just a couple of countries, but what we are seeing is that it runs the full gamut of countries from countries with seemingly very well trained and equipped disciplined troops. i mean, the french forces have been named. two countries, barindi, gaban, the tanzanians and the drc, the drc troops themselves, the moroccans. there are many, many countries that have these allegations. so i can't point a finger at one being particularly bad. we do know that in the central
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african republic the contingents that have been repatriated were the troops from the republic of congo and the democratic republic of congo, and they were repatriated because -- >> i got it. i apologize. i've got to get things in within a certain time. i've got a whole list of countries here that it's beyond belief some of them, germany. germany. let me ask you this. if i could ask a personal question, have you all had kids? do y'all have family? >> mr. chairman -- >> if you know a u.n. peacekeeping mission was going to your neighborhood right now, would you not have the same response i had that you would rush home to protect your family from the peacekeepers? would that be your response? honestly? would you please tell me?
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>> mr. chairman, i have five kids. and when i was preparing for this testimony today, last night, and i had to talk with my daughters about what i was doing and what i would be talking about, it was a very difficult conversation. i can tell you having recently returned from the central african republic i am so thankful that my children are being raised in the united states and in an environment where rule of law is primary and in the central african republic i met people who are the victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. their families have suffered it directly. and i asked them that question -- would you prefer that there were no peace keepers here? and i actually -- i didn't know what the answer would be. ambassador power and i sat together with them. would you prefer, given what you have experienced, that
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peacekeepers return home? and they -- all of them said no. what we want is we want accountability. we want justice to be served. >> what is wrong with the secretary-general of the u.n.? this report was written -- the one that you referred to is ten years old. what is wrong with him? what is wrong with him? i mean, is he just so inept, inept that he can't cause a body like this to keep this from happening over and over and over again? and we're just now beginning to put processes in place? what is wrong with him? >> what i would say, mr. chairman, is that those processes have been put in place coming out of that report a decade ago, but they have never been acted upon in the way that they must be acted upon. >> that's my point. how do we put up with such inept leadership at the yass? how do we do that?
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>> i don't think it's ineptitude. i think it is a reluctance to take on the opposition of troop contributing countries that don't want to deal with this issue in the transparent way that it must be dealt with and -- >> we have a law here called the leaf/leahy act which says when we know of thins like this, we withhold money. and we withheld money. >> so, mr. chairman, i can not give you an example where we've held money for these things. the good news is, is up until recently, we didn't have the kind of visibility that we needed to be able to pursue these things. now, certainly with the lay lee law, when we have credible evidence of individuals or units, then we go forth not to do security assistance with them
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anymore. and that is out there and all the units that we train already we vet through that process. any of the training that we've done has been vetted through that leahy-vetted process. what's good about what is happening now and should have been happening sooner i think we would all agree is that now we are starting to get more information coming in from the u.n. that we didn't have access to before. and that's going to alou us to do this better than we've done it before. >> let me just -- i'm going to -- we may go to a second round with y'all, but i look at the list of countries that are violators. most of them or many of them, let me put it this way, are countries that receive aid from the united states in other forms. i don't understand why we continue to send money to countries outside of the u.n.
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that allow this type of abuse to take place. so i don't think we're using the leverage that we have. we, i think, should be withholding payments to the u.n. until this ends or doing some level of reductions, but it doesn't seem to me that -- it seems to me that this is not that important to the u.n. or they would have done much more about it over the last ten years. by the way, though people you talked to i would say were somewhat fearful to tell you they didn't want them to be there with u.n. officials being in your presence. but i just don't think the united states is using the leverage that we have, not at your level, at other levels, to stop this. and i think the u.n. is i think in great jeopardy of building enough critical mass around here where severe penalties should be taken against them with
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withholding of funds from them because of their ineptness, their lack of concern, their lack of care after ten years to continue to allow this to cur. so i hope actions and plan to be a part of actions being taken against them because it's obviously something that's not very important to them. otherwise, this could have been stopped a long time ago. ineptness, lack of a moral compass, lack of concern for vulnerable people. senator carden. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to first thank you all, and i mean that. this is not easy work. and we appreciate your commitment and passion to get this right on behalf of vulnerable people globally. so thank you for your commitment. and i do acknowledge the fact that we now have more
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information than we had a year or two ago. my staff has given me a copy. it was on the u.n. webpage of those who have been allegations of sexual abuse. looks like approximately, since the beginning of 2015, rounding, it could be 90, 100, somewhere in that range, but specific episodes involving about the same number of victims. of all those cases, i went through it quickly, only four have been finalized with any jail time. and i also point out what the chairman said, that these are the reported cases. we know that in some countries the seriousness of this issue, even though it's globally acknowledged of being the worst types of conduct, but in some governments and some countries
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it's not considered to be a serious issue, and that means that the reporting is going to be spotty in some of the missions, and then the pressure that's on the command structure has always been there. we saw that in the u.s. command structure when we were dealing with trafficking with military fa facilities located in other countries, not participating, took some while before we were able to change the culture. so we know that also is a problem. but my specific question to you is, it's one thing to get the secretary-general to withdraw the mission if they don't do certain things, and i'm all for that. the two sections that i see in united security council resolution 2772, which was just passed last month, so the chairman is right, this has been going on for a long, long time, and we finally got a u.n. security council resolution passed last month, section 4
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deems with gathering evidence, but most of that section deals with how you deal -- victims and making sure the mission is well trained, et cetera, and then section 9 says "urges all member states to take concrete steps aimed at preventing and combatting impunity for sexual exploitation." what are we doing? what is the united states doing? what is our leadership doing to make sure that those who have perpetrated these horrible acts are going to end up in jail? >> thank you for your question, senator. it's a very important topic, and i think you hit on something that's key here. we've talked a lot about what the u.n. is or isn't doing, but crux of the matter is what are the troop and police contributing countries doing to hold those who have perpetrated these horrendous crimes accountable?
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we finally have a tool that allows us to go to those countries, to see what they're doing, to urge them to do better, and i think you've mentioned the four cases from last year that have gone through the whole process. there are at least another 20 where trials are occurring now, 20 trials in the democratic republic of congo that that government is conducting against pea peacekeepers who have been accused of this. also the republic of south africa has an on-site court-martial that's going on right now. so we're starting to see the actions taken that these countries know now that we know what they're doing, we know where the troops are coming from, and this we're going to continue to shine a spotlight on these issues. we've sent in our missions to all of these countries just last month. this was the subject of high-level discussion with our ambassadors who were all back here in washington last month
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for the mission conference. and we've been very clear with ton c countries we've gone out to. this is not one sort of discussion. we will be coming back regularly to determine what they're doing and holding their feet to the fire. >> let me underscore the point the chairman made. i support u.n. peacekeeping. a lot of taxpayer money goes into-up peacekeeping. u.s. taxpayer money goes into it. i have a right as a senator to know that section 9 of u.n. security council resolution is being enforced. i don't believe that the countries that have people who have perpetrated this, some of the countries will follow through with this requirement of combatting impunity to making sure that the perpetrators are held accountable and are serving
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prison time. so what are you going to do to provide me with information on how we are doing in ef one of these countries that have perpetrators as to how their system of justice is handling this acceptable to international standards? >> senator, it's very important that we continue to follow up with each of these countries in a repeated way. and we're doing that and happy to provide you at any time with the results of our conversations with these countries. >> i want to be a little more proactive. i want to know what you plan to do working with the members of congress to keep us nched in a timely way as to how every country that sends peace keepers to countries, the systems that they've employed to deal with those who have perpetrated these types of acts. i want to make sure that no one's being left -- first of
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all, i don't think we have enough. i don't think there's been -- the -- i think we have to be more proactive, the united states, in making sure those who are victimized have an opportunity to come forward. i think we have to be more direct with the political structure in the united nations to make sure that every country, perpetrators are identified so that we have by country what is happening and that we follow every particular case. quite frankly, i don't have confidence in their system to provide justice, international justice, not u.s. justice. and i think the manier transparency you can put into this the more important it is. i want you to come back to me, this committee, and tell me what we are going to be receiving on a regular basis as to what's happening in every one of these countries in holding the perpetrators accountable and how those trials are going forward and whether, in fact, you can say with confidence that they've taken steps to prevent impunity
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for those who have committed these crimes. will you do that? >> yes, senator. thank you. in fact, we have already started an exercise to do just this. there's a whole team of people behind me that are engaged in this every day. we are putting together essentially -- what we want to do is combine the new transparp si we're getting from the u.n. with our own information that we get from our embassies in the field, and we are preparing what we call a data call, but it's actually an effort to go out to all of our ambassadors in every country that hosts a peacekeeping mission to answer a series of questions based on our own observations, engagement, and analysis so we can bring that information back to washington and do exactly what you say to make a determination about whether the countries are doing the right thing or not. >> senator corker and i, we need to talk a little more about this. but the leahy rule, which is one that i support, indicates that
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we don't give aid to countries that don't adhere to basic international standards. and to me, holding those accountable for these atrocities, these types of activities, would be contrary to international norm. so you're going to have to help us draft the appropriate type of oversight that will make sure that countries understand that they must act to prevent impunity for the perp tretratorf these crimes. understood? >> understood. >> otherwise we'll draft it and you may not like the way we draft it, so just warning you. >> understand. and we're working for example in the current year's appropriations language, which does require the kind of certification that you're describing and we're looking forward to working with you to put that information together. >> thank you.
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>> senator isaacson. >> mr. chairman, i appreciate you and the ranking member focusing on this, and i appreciate your compliments to the u.n. about transparency and finally making some moves. putting in a year-end report how many violations of human rights there were in terms of rape against women, it's not much transparency. and putting it on the website is pretty good, but a lot of these people who are victims wouldn't know a website if they saw it because they're in very remote parts of the world. i want to echo what senator carden and senator cord have already said. they're coming from where i'm coming from, holding these people accountable in some way the least of which by withholding funds until they comply with human rights. when senator corker and i went to darfur and senator koonce and i went to the congo, one of the many things i learned is that rape is a military tactic in africa. it's not a violation of the law. they teach it. >> that's right.
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>> when we went to darfur, you didn't see a man younger than -- older than 12 ore you younger t2 because they all had fled. every woman had a baby. 45, 50, 60 years old, endured so much pain they looked like they were that old, because the armies that come in to invade the towns rape the women to break up the family unit, the men leave, they take is son with them or the son is continue scripted into the army. it's an ongoing process. this is a big practice. i'm picking africa but it's one place i know it takes place. unless there was a significant consequence of united states funds -- and this may address your organization, general -- we're just whistling in the wind, because these people are taught to do it. i wanted to make a statement of awareness, which brings me to the question -- general, is there any status of forces agreement that you know that is required or otherwise put on the burden of any other country that
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supplies peacekeeping troops to those countries, any status of forcing to the legal casualtiability to which those troops will be in the event they commit a felony or a crime? >> thanks for the question. i may have to defer a little bit. i know there is a memorandum between the country and the troop -- those countries that go to a certain mission and the country they're working in. but i do not know the details of that to be unable to unwrap that further for you. i don't know -- if the i could turn it over the you, ambassador. >> there is a memorandum of understanding and there's a model memorandum of understanding that's negotiated every three years. that negotiation is coming up in 2017, and strengthening the provisions to be very explicit and incredibly direct on sexual exploitation and abuse is one of my goals for that upcoming negotiation. off of that model, there are specific mous between the troop
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contributing country and the u.n. this is not a problem at its core of lack of words on paper. this is a problem of political will. and it's a problem that has persisted for too long where words on paper have been ignored. words on paper have been disregarded. so even within the existing mous the tccs if not abided by that. and now we will not tolerate that going forward. >> which underscores the point i want to make. as long as these troops, many of whom are in an army trained to use sexual violence as a tool of war are deployed a peacekeeper, if they realize they're exempt from any accountability from legal enforcement of the law of the countries tay ear in or anywhere else, there's nothing to thwart or hold them back. however, if all of a sudden because of an initiative the united states takes and other peace-loving countries take, we start holding people accountable, sentencing people and people start serving
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punishment and time for rape or violence against women or whatever it might be, then the word will get out really fast. governments are great and the u.n. is the best at making agreements, putting words on paper. but not the very best at putting those words to work in life. so my point is if we can get to some sort of status of forces agreement between countries that supply u.n. troops and the u.n. or require an agreement between them and the country they're deployed in and have a -- not a you must in 90 days establish a pattern of praks the or establish a -- status of force that says you will be liable and you will be punished for rape, for murder, or whatever capital fell nes we want to include in there, the most egregious of which, then do our best to make a couple people an example of it. until that is happening, that and withholding money are the two things that will get these guys' attention. we don't have anybody's attention right now. none whatsoever. and it's a frightening, frightening thing.
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and i think the gpoi, it will division of the state department, right? >> yes, under my leadership. >> i would hope you would meet with bob froman, the trade representative for the united states, and start finding out whether or not there are some ways you could tie a country's compliance with fighting violence against women with the agreements we make with them in trade and commerce. senator koonce and i opened the markets in south africa for domestic united states chicken, which they were being blocked from, by enforcing the terms of the trade agreement between the two countries. people don't like rape and violence, but they like to eat and have commerce and trade. if you predicate participating in those things with the united states with them being committed to ending violence against women and sexual violence as a practice, then we can start going a long way towards making something happen. that's the kind of leverage that really makes a difference. not belittling the annual
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report. i'm not belittling the website. but i'm telling you it's one thing to tell them your name is on a website, another to say you can't trade anymore. we've gotten countries in africa to change their labor laws in order to get into compliance. we've had to start importing chickens from the united states in order to participate under trade under that agreement. it would seem like the state department should find ways to leverage what you're doing in gpoi with some of the benefits we do on a daily basis with countries around the world who may provide peace keepers to see if you could tie them together. with a big stick, you ain't got nothing in some of these countries. pardon my english. economic return for better behavior for some of these host countries. >> thank you. you mentioned the political resistance or the -- what kind
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of political resistance exists to keep soldiers from raping and abusing young girls and young boys? what kind of resistance do you face at this united nations body? >> the resistance, mr. chairman, is over giving up any control or jurisdiction with respect to how issues of conduct and discipline are handled by tccs themselves, by the troop and police contributing countries. they have resisted our efforts to increase transparency on these issues out of fear that it would dishonor their troops, that it would dishonor peacekeeping. but what i can tell you is that the dishonor and what i say to them, the dishonor is in not being transparent. the dishonor is in not
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prosecuting credible allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse to restore integrity to peacekeeping. and so i think what you're seeing in a positive way today is that there is no longer a monolithic resistance on these issues. i think there are troop and police contributing countries that recognize that we face a crisis. and they recognize that simply circling the wagons and saying no to transparency and no to accountability is actually undermining peacekeeping, is undermining their own integrity. and so we've seen some progress recently on that front. >> i would just point out on the list, and i know most members have seen the list, but a large number of the people that are violators are in the peacekeeping mission to make money. let me say this one more time. they're in the peacekeeping mission to make money.
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so, i'm sorry, i can't imagine how political resistance could keep us from enforcing against these countries that make money off doing this in this particular situation. but senator? >> thank you, chairman corker and ranking member carden for both convening this hearing and for your persistence, your voice, your edge gaungagement, you in fighting human trafficking and human slavery and the passion and engagement you bring to make sure we don't just hold hearings on the deplorable conditions of the victims of sexual exploitation and abuse around the world but that we actually do something and get something done. in this particular instance today we're talking about u.n. peacekeeping. i want to thank our witnesses for your testimony today, both panels, but especially ambassador coleman, who i know is working hard to try and institute real reforms in the u.n. to make it a more effective institution. i just last week went to u.n. headquarters in new york and met with the u.n.
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undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, and was struck by the daunting challenges that peace keepers face in the 21st century, by the number of countries where we've got u.n. peacekeepers deployed, and by the possibilities of peace keeping in terms of protecting fragile countries from falling into being failed states. and i have strongly supported u.n. peacekeeping efforts in terms of appropriations support and view it as a cost effective and positive way to not just chemopeace but build peace. but the allegations that have been made not just in carr but ambassador coleman as you've outlined, across dozens of different u.s. missions across decades now are simply shocking and unacceptable. and it is the united states that is footing most of the bill for most of the peacekeepers who are committing these atrocities against men and women and children. and if the very people who we
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are funding, training, equipping, supporting to be peacekeepers can't be trusted to keep the peace and instead are committing crimes, then our support for u.n. peacekeeping is at risk of doing more harm than good. so i think we all agree we have to act, not just listen, not just take notes, but act to bring an end to sexual exploitation and abuse on a wide scale by u.n. peacekeepers, but simply providing peacekeepers and police doesn't fulfill a member state's obligation for the u.n. community of nations. it is the responsibility of member states to select and train and oversee appropriate units. and it is a struggle, as the chairman was just recognizing, many of the peacekeeping contributing countries are deploying peacekeepers, at least in the countries i've traveled to with senator isaacson, in part in order to get their troochs paid. we are not attracting the best and most capable and most
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trained peacekeeping forces from around the world, and we need to strengthen that. but before we make progress on that, i think we first have to institute meaningful accountability for nations and their peacekeepers who commit these kinds of crimes. so i look forward to exploring together ways this committee can help ambassador power and her team at the u.n. push for accountability that is meaningful and can work together to end these crimes and to change peacekeepers from perpetrators of violence to protectors against violence. so if i would, ambassador, just tell me what peacekeeper training method have proven most effective so far? in fact, i'd like all members of the panel to answer this question if i could. what's been successful in terms of training to reduce what senator isaacson i think correctly recognized is the training whether intentional or by experience of many of the troop contributing countries that sexual lie violence is being used as a weapon of war? what is the training that is most effective at preventing
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that, and what can we do to strengthen that training in combination with accountability? if you would in order, please. >> thank you. well, i will allow general rothstein to answer the specific training question, but if you would me just to say i i want to reiterate a point general rothstein made earlier, which is this is not fundamentally about a training issue. i mean, there is no training that is going to guarantee that this problem won't occur. and when you look at the troops that have committed these abuses, some of them are among the best trained troops in the world. and we know that they have explicit components of sexual exploitation and abuse prevention in their training methods. so ultimately, i come back to this as an accountability issue. there is no troop contributing country that is immune from these types of abuses. it's how they deal with them and how they deal with it in a fulsome way that provides prevention going forward.
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>> before we turn to the training question, since we've got you, ambassador coleman, on this, how effective is naming and shaming since the number of countries involved and implicated are close al lays of ours who have troops that are trained and perform at the highest level? then we'll talk about training for those who lack operational efficiency. i think accountability matters first before training. how sfoif the naming and shaping we are advocating and that we may work together to strengthen? >> thank you, senator. i like to avoid the phrase naming and shaming because i see no shame in being named. the shame is in not following through with accountability. i think that is -- it really is a watershed for us to be able to identify the countries and then to be able to follow up directly with them and not tolerate, not allow the passivity that has existed, the sweeping under the carpet that has existed.
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frankly, the lack of accountability. and to not allow it anymore. and senator isaacson earlier talked about having a big stick, and mr. chairman, you've talked about money. the money is a big stick. and to be able to say that you will not participate in peacekeeping any longer if you do not hold your troops accountable, if you do not report back to the security council, to the secretary-general on what you're doing, if you do not prosecute these allegations in a full and sufficient way. i mean, that is ultimately the u.n.'s big stick because the troop contributing countries will retain jurisdiction over their troops. they can either choose to have a full, appropriate response or not, and if they don't, then frankly they should no longer be part of peacekeeping. >> i couldn't agree more. and as someone who has the fought for the appropriations for peacekeeping i'm ashamed we've been supporting peacekeepers who are doing horrible things and want to make sure that working together we find a mechanism for
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accountability that is appropriate and that uses the fact that we are one of the principal contributors to peacekeeping support to ensure this comes to an end. general, what sorts of engagements, accountability are most effective for troops, whether training or prosecution or otherwise? >> thank you very much. i apologize. so let me start by echoing what ambassador coleman said. my perspective is that training is absolutely necessary, but make no mistake i do not think it is sufficient. this is a problem that is much broader than training, and i believe we have to train through the training we provide through our security assistance. we think it is pretty good. and as far as best practices of that, what we work to do in our training, we start in the classroom, we move the scenarios, we moved including exercises and also focus very much on unit leadership. we draw on the best of breed. we work closely with the united nations to find the best
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practices that work well. we make sure we understand their policy. but all of that, no matter how well you do it, be will not be sufficient. so i would echo what ambassador coleman said. we have to focus on accountability. i'd also we have to focus on hoy the country's following up. just because you have a rotten individual or even a rotten unit does not mean you necessarily want to disengage from the whole country. as we remain focused on future outcomes if that country is going to deploy to u.n. peacekeeping and we want to affect it for the better, then we want to help make it better and not walk away and let it deteriorate. those are the difficult decisions we have. >> i'm past my time. i want to say i'm looking forward to the second panel where we're going to hear frankly about u.n. suppression of whistle pl-blowers and the likelihood they're far more widespread than expected. >> i wld say on this issue, there ought to be some way for
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us to figure out a way to surgically deal with this in a bipartisan manner that -- that gets at this issue and not bring in the whole host of other issues. but we ought to figure out a way to do it. senator flake is go to go ahead and ask senator sheheen, let her ask questions. >> thank you, all very much for your testimony today and for the work that you're doing on a very difficult issue. and i want to follow up, ambassador coleman, with what you said about how important it is for the u.n. to actually hold countries accountable and to ask has that ever been done? do we have any examples of where that is actually occurred and we have seen a change in behavior and if that's the case, why haven't we instituted a process
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whereby that's done on a regular basis? >> thank you, senator sheheen. the u.n. has i think consistently followed up with the troop contributing countries brought when allegations have come to their attention. they have documented them. they have presented evidence that they have collected to the troop contributing countries. they have followed up with the troop contributing countries and too often they have met with silence and frankly have acted with timidity and demanding action. >> well, that's the question i'm really asking. is there a case -- can you cite a time in the past when the u.n. has demanded action, if the troop contributing countries have failed to act, where we have denied them funding or for
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continuing to contribute to peace keeping efforts? >> i know of a number of examples. and some of them have happened frankly was urging. i can tell you that the uruguayans in haiti had sexual exploitation and abuse allegations. we knew about them at the time. there wasn't a website, this wasn't published but we did learn about it. we engaged bilaterally and we engaged at the u.n. and the uruguayans did take action. they in fact held quite a public trial and they flew victims from haiti to the trial. we know that the u.n. has engaged with a number of member states who have been responsive. when i was in the democratic republic of the congo i learned about the south africans and how one of their force intervention brigade had a number of
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allegations. the u.n. brought it to the highest levels of intervention in the south african army, they dealt with it. they had court-martials so it does happen. but the issue is it doesn't always happen and too often they simply get no response from a tcc. and when that happens, if we don't know about it, or if another member state doesn't know about it, it falls through the cracks. it's totally unacceptable. >> well, one of the issues that's been raised is that there's no person or agency that's responsible just for this. and what -- is what is the assessment of the panel if we had a person in charge of just making sure that when there are allegations that troop contributing countries are taking action to hold people responsible, would that help solve the problem? >> you know, the independent car
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panel report in excruciating detail cataloged how information was defused, fragmented. the bureaucratic response that appalled us. in response the u.n. has appointed a special envoy to deal with this issue of sexual exploitation and abuse and we welcome that appointment. we think that will certainly help provide a focal point within the u.n. so there can never again be an excuse that the diffusion of responsibility allowed critical information and -- to fall through the cracks and inaction to occur. so we absolutely welcome that. >> has she taken any action yet? >> she has recently appointed -- i know right now she is traveling -- she's been in the central african republic, in the democratic republic of congo. i think you will see action coming out of her -- her office in short order. >> senator cardin and senator
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corker both mentioned the leahy legislation that would have the united states deny assistance. is this something that has been done in particular instances where there have been documented cases of sexual exploitation? and abuse -- have we actually seen the united states deny aid to those countries who have failed to take action? >> certainly when we have credible evidence, you know, those things that fall under the leahy laws, at the individual unit level when we have that information, that goes into our database that we work both through the mission of countries when the individuals need to come up for the security assistance with the united states, as well as the databases back here at state main.
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so i don't have a specific example, but if someone has the credible allegation against them and they would go in the database, we would not work with that unit or individual and that process has been in place. >> i guess i'm asking a broader question and that is not just about the unit or individual. but have we actually denied aid to countries that have contributed troops to peacekeeping missions who have failed to take action with those troops on allegations that have been shown to be true? >> at the overall country level, we have not suspended to my knowledge an overall, you know, country. >> should we? should we consider that kind of action if we see repeated abuses and failure to take action? i'd like each of you to respond to that, if you would. >> sure. i think we actually have to be ready to consider that. we have to take that on a case by case basis. as i said earlier from my
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perspective it's not so much that an incident happens. it's what the country does about it. if the country lacks the will to try to follow through on that, because no matter like said earlier incident are going to happen. we're not going to stop that. so that if the country takes reasonable action to follow through, then we ought to continue working with them. >> right. no, i'm actually asking if they failed to take action. >> right. >> should we then look at suspending aid, ms. jacobson? >> thank you very much, senator shaheen. we have to think of the leverage we have, but i think we have to look at it in a wholistic way. for example, most of the assistance we provide to countries in africa is in the health area. we are not in the business as you know of giving out freebies because we want to feel good. we're in the business of providing assistance that needs critical u.s. national security
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needs so you have to weigh whether or not it makes sense to cut the assistance that we're providing to prevent the spread of pandemic disease no response to a country's inability to deal with sexual exploitation and abuse. in other areas we're providing assistance directly to support the rule of law system and the development of capacities to enforce law. i wouldn't want to cut that. i might want to sort of redirect how that is used. so it's something -- it's a tool, it's not necessarily the tool of first resort. you have to look at what the assistance is directed to and then make the best determination. we are trying to do that now on a case by case basis through our engagement with the countries that have been named in the report. that's an ongoing conversation we will have in conjunction of course with all of you. >> ambassador coleman? >> i would just say that if there -- if countries are not responding and not taking appropriate action, they should not be included in u.n. peace keeping. and therefore, our contribution through our peacekeeping
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assessments should not be going to those countries. so i completely agree that, you know, u.s. engagement to strengthen the countries and make them better improved capacity building, vetting, all of and these things are -- all of these things are great. but if that's a willful nonresponsivene nonresponsiveness, our money should not be going to them. >> thank you very much. >> senator markey? >> thank you, mr. chairman. can i ask you in general how we deal with the countries from which these soldiers come? on the one hand we're talking about training of the soldiers. but does the country itself need training? does the judicial system need training? do we need a program that goes
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the step before these young men who are the soldiers and get to the adults who are in these countries and ensuring that they have the proper training that they are taking the intervention steps necessary early on or else those people are made accountable in their country. those are the people who we have given the training to and acting, what is that program that we may or may not have in place to ensure that the proper training back in the home country is adequate? >> senator, thank you for that you raise what's important and a very hard topic. so as a general rule, i think in our security assistance in my experience doing tactical training, training units, pre deployment training is hard. but we're pretty good at it as a country. helping to build those institutions that back stop all of those tactical and operational units is much more
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difficult. it's intellectually more difficult i would tell you and i should -- i'll remark i came out of a year of afghanistan where my job was to build the afghan air force. i was trying to build their institutions so i have lived as my myself and it's hard work. we have some programs out there where we're trying to get after that. we have a security governance initiative that is taking kind of a pilot level looking at some of these countries, how we get after the institution building that has to back stop this. the rule of law. some of those things. the defense department i don't want to speak too much to them because i don't know, but i know they're working some of the defense institution building programs. so those are some of the things we're trying to work. but it is difficult, it will take a long time because change -- you know, in our own bureaucracy, think how hard it is to make change happen much less when you're trying to work through a foreign government,
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through their cultural norms and values so we have to stay at this for a while. >> right. i don't think you can solve the problem until those leaders in the justice system, in the home countries have the proper training and gumption to enforce the laws. these are just young men on the prowl in a foreign country and that's a dangerous thing without proper supervision back home. so let's just talk then to whatever -- from your perspective you would like to see put on the books. what programs would you like to see funded? you know, short of defunding a program i guess in those countries to teach them with the stick what we could potentially try to have them accept as a standard by the proper educational standards, the proper accountability standards that are put in place without us having to punish the country. >> thank you very much, senator, for that important question. and i just wanted to include the
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thought that when we started our effort last month to go out to every country on the u.n. list, this is part of what we were asking them. first we wanted to make sure that they understood the gravity of this against them. third, was to open a dialogue about what that country needs in terms of assistance to build up its own ability to investigate and respond. those conversations are at an early level. we only got the country specific information last month, but we're going to build on that and those conversations that our ambassadors in the field are having now are going to feedback in to our decisions about what kind of assistance we can provide including in the rule of law area. but i would like to echo what my colleague ambassador coleman said that while we have an open door and a willingness to engage in this, we should do it.
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hopefully we'll be funded to provide that kind of assistance. where countries are not willing, where they don't have the gumption those countries should be barred from peacekeeping altogether. i believe that the resolution in the security council that our new york team fought so hard for last month, 2272 provides for that kind of banning from peacekeeping of the nations. >> so great. let's talk about the countries that you think are the worst. like give us the worst three countries. any one of you. so we can get an idea of what we're talking about. and kind of prioritizing, not alphabetically but in terms of the complete and total lack of regard for the human rights violations. how would you list those countries? want to give us the three worst? >> i will -- i will refer to my colleague ambassador coleman who briefly said it's really hard --
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previously said it's hard to say who's the worst and not the worst, because we are only in a world where we can identify what countries were doing. before we didn't have that information. and ambassador coleman may disagree with me. but i -- >> well, we have countries here, congo, morocco, south africa, cameroon, burundi, togo, ghana, madagascar, senegal, canada, germany, slovakia, and moldova. you want to pick three? and if you don't want to put in canada, you don't have to. or slovakia, perhaps of the shorter list that's list, you might want to give us an idea of where this problem is and then focus our attention much more precisely like laser like on what we should start with. we should start with the worst and then we can all know what we have to have as a project in order to teach that country how much they should care about the issues.
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so would you like to try that, ambassador? >> i would just say in the case -- and what you're saying is very important. we need to identify where the problems are. we're starting to be able to do that. we are looking at a case like democratic republic of congo. obviously, the allegations against that particularly contingent -- they're horrific. we think the secretary-general did the right thing by sending them home. they are not in peacekeeping anywhere else, nor should they be. but at the same time, as part of this new focus on these issues, we have seen now that the democratic republic of congo has detained 20 of their peacekeepers and has started trials against them. so what we need to see before we can make a judgment is where do those trials go? several of the countries that you mentioned have started judicial processes or in some cases actually finished judicial processes against those peacekeepers who were accused.
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so it's -- i would say it's too early to answer the question as to who is the worst because we haven't seen -- >> you're saying congo is there as a country that has received special attention. two other countries if you were going to prioritize as a country where we should be focussing that you think have been particularly bad in this area? >> well, senator, maybe i can just comment. adding to what ambassador jacobson has already said, congo -- the drc troops were repatriated because of a pattern of abuse. there were so many abuses that they were repatriated. in addition, the republic of congo, so not only the democratic republic of congo, but the congo braz aville, they
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were repatriated again because of a pattern of abuse. two different things are going on. one is a pattern of abuse which speaks to a lack of command and control and the other is a pattern of nonresponsiveness. on the pattern of abuse, i think as algationzs become -- allegations become apparent and we are tracking those allegations, it's easy to see when that's been a pattern or it's easier to see when there's been a pattern of abuse. in terms of nonresponsiveness, we are now only understanding which countries because there are only recently being named have allegations that have been pending for a long time. where there has been inadequate follow-up, inadequate accountability. so in that process we are looking at which of -- which of those countries and we don't have an answer for you. we will get back to you with that answer. >> okay. i think that it's important for us to know, you know, when you're -- there are a hundred nuclear power plants, these ten are the least safe and we'll
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focus on those first. right? so you have to narrow it down for us because we have an ability to begin to think creativity about all of the other relationships that we have with that country. that can help to get the leaders who general rothstein saying are maybe reluctant right now to have their judicial system fully engaged to make sure they're accountable. that the soldiers are accountable. that the military offices are accountable. >> and we look at it very much in the same way. that's the analysis that we're doing. >> when will you have that list put together as to who are the worst and, you know, because that would be a great hearing to just have, you know, those worst offenders focused upon by the committee. >> when you're asking worst offenders are you talking about highest incidents or nonresponsiveness? >> well, i suppose it's going to be a combination. >> i think it's combination. >> the least responsive are
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turning a blind eye to the atrocity, so i'm sure it's one and the same for the most part. >> not necessarily. and that's exactly what we're trying to untangle. i mean, there are some countries that have had up pretty significant allegations against them. as ambassador jacobson said, you now see the democratic republic of congo putting 20 people on trial. and so taking quite an aggressive action about that. you know, we want to -- it's very early stages of that. a lot of times it takes in fact quite a long time for these things to work their way through this -- their judicial system. but the point i want to emphasize is that having a weak judicial system, having a judicial process that perhaps doesn't meet our standards, our rule of law, is no excuse for not taking action. there is not one tcc that has
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deployed to a unpeacekeeping mission that doesn't have the ability to impose discipline on their troops. >> we're agreeing with you. i think what chairman corker and ranking member cardin are saying we want to help you. there's no excuse. so, you know, you just tell us who they are. who -- what their excuses are and then we will try to reinforce it, because there's a power of the purse which the congress does have that i think can help to focus their attention on issues that we'd like to see them work on. so we thank you very much. >> mr. chairman, if i could -- just to clarify, i think this has been a very helpful exchange. if i understand ambassador coleman, the united nations can discipline a country that doesn't take appropriate steps by denying them the right to be a tcc. and that has been done. and the u.n. resolution speaks
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directly to that. the problem is if they're nonresponsive on impunity there doesn't appear to be any direct remedy that the united nations can take other than the peer pressure or public information that's made available. that's why i think we're looking for ways in which we can help in regards to getting action taken in regards to impunity. i wanted to clarify that. because i think they're the two points that you had raised before. >> i still say it's unbelievable that we had a report in 2005 and you just now -- not you, the entity we're trying to reform, the u.n., just now is publishing information. i think it speaks to -- i'm sorry, terrible leadership, lack of concern.
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unwillingness to deal with tough issues and i don't think it speaks very favorably of the leadership at the u.n. senator kaine? >> in the security council resolution from last month, i applaud the u.s. and the other nations for taking it seriously and the council, were in provisions dealing with redrafts of the mous with the tcc so should there be a standard feature of the memorandums of understanding that talk about training, recognizing training is insufficient and then what the accountability provisions would be in the kind of complaint? and if that's not part of the security council resolution, is that a profitable area that we should focus some time? >> thank you, senator. it is not part of a security council resolution because those decisions are not taken up in the security council. they're taken up in the general assembly. i mentioned earlier that the
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model mou is renegotiated every several years. it will be up for review coming in 2017 and it is absolutely an area that is ripe for review for making stronger and more explicit actions regarding sexual exploitation and abuse. >> as we work on maybe some bipartisan and focused strategy, you know, strong demand that that mou and sort of the negotiated includes very significant provisions around this is something that i think we would all probably agree with. that's the only question i have. i appreciate it. >> thank you. you want to follow up with this panel? listen, we -- we're all very upset. i think you are too. i know that typically the administration doesn't particularly appreciate input from folks who sit on this side of the dias. i think in this case, maybe they
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would welcome that and i do look forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to figure out a way to put additional pressure on. i have to tell you if i had to go to work every day and deal with the morass that exists at the united nations, i think i'd have to find other lines of work. so we thank you for attempting to deal with this morass that is so ineffective. but we thank you for your efforts. we appreciate your efforts in trying to make sure that training is done at a better level and i appreciate the work you're doing at the state department. we do want to assist you in penalizing countries that tolerate this. and don't do the appropriate -- don't take the appropriate actions, so we'll be working with you very closely over the next several weeks. with that, you know, we hope you
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have an opportunity here with the witnesses say on the next panel. we'll hold the record open until the close of business friday. if you can fairly promptly respond to questions that come your way in writing, but we thank you for your service to our country and for being here today. thank you. >> no, i don't like going into the building, so --
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all right. so we're ready for the second panel. i know we are olooking forward to your testimony. most of us have had a chance to read it last night or this morning. but we thank you all for being here. i'd like to recognize the three witnesses. dr. miranda brown who has very powerful testimony and mr. yeo, did i pronounce that correctly? yeah, thank you.
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and if you could just begin, dr. brown, and then mr. yeo if you'd move on. thank you both for being here and for the strength of your testimony here today. thank you. >> good afternoon. my name is miranda brown, i'm a former australian diplomat. i joined the u.n.'s office of the high commissioner for human rights as the chief of the eastern southern africa section in 2012 and occupied this position until december 2014. i have firsthand experience of monitoring and reporting human rights violations including sexual abuse in a peacekeeping environment. i'm going to give you an insider's perspective. from my experience in the field, and as the chief of the eastern southern africa section i know that sexual abuse in peacekeeping missions is vastly underreported, with reporting at various stages. there are multiple barriers to reporting sexual abuse. victims many of whom are minors,
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know that there's a high likelihood the perpetrators will go unpunished and fear discrimination and retaliation if they report abuse. u.n. human rights offices and peacekeeping missions are usually the first responders and hence the internal reporters of the sexual abuse. they have their own fears. both about their physical safety as well as their own job security. overall, my view is that there are significant structural barriers to reporting sexual abuse by peacekeepers and by u.n. personnel. the current set-up which relies on the reporters of the violations is inadequate, poses risks to the victims and staff, and is inheerntsdzly biased against reporting. such barriers are exasperated by the whole inadequate united nations provisions of protections to whistle-blowers. an example of these structural barriers is the case of anders
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compass who disclosed sexual abuse in the central african republic to the french authorities. on the basis that the abuse was ongoing and the u.n. leadership had not taken any steps to stop it. over a period of many months or if they had, these steps had been ineffective. the abuse continued until july 2014 when mr. compass disclosed it to the french authorities. in april of 2015, mr. compass was suspended and placed under investigation for his disclosure. shortly after, i blew the whistle to u.s. officials at the permanent mission to the united nations in geneva about the child sexual abuse in the central african republic and the apparent abuse of authority in respect to the treatment of mr. compass. despite the fact that his suspension was deemed unlawful, and an external panel established by the
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secretary-general exxon rated him he was under investigation. these actions will continue to have a chilling effect and they have badly damaged the reputation and stature of the united nations. while the u.n. secretary-general has announced measures tackling sexual abuse in peacekeeping these do not address the structural barriers to report, nor provide protections for u.n. staff. these measures do not address the u.n. internal accountability for abuse of authority. ambassador coleman has referred to the dishonor in not being transparent. this should apply to the u.n. leadership. many of the measures you have heard today should apply to the u.n. leadership because 70% of the abuses appear to have been committed by nonmilitary, by u.n. or nonmilitary personnel. i recommend the committee consider the following.
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from the u.n. leadership, demand that all victims of sexual abuse by peacekeepers are offered immediate protection. that is not currently the case. recognize and address the barriers in reporting sexual abuse by peacekeepers and u.n. personnel. issue u.n. system wide procedures and provide meaningful training to all u.n. staff working in peacekeeping missions by other u.n. personnel. and institute mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse to the appropriate authorities. recognize and address the whistle-blower protections afforded to the u.n. staff. institute zero tolerance for all u.n. officials whose conduct fails to meet the high standards of ethics and integrity. and apologize to mr. compass. from the u.s. state department, demand the above reforms from the u.n., demand zero tolerance for and call for the removal of all senior u.n. officials whose
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conduct fails to meet the high standards. recognize that u.n. staff are not adequately protected from retaliation for reporting sexual and other abuses by peacekeepers or u.n. personnel. seek whistle-blower protections as detailed in the written statement. implement the provisions of the u.s. consolidated appropriate anxiouses act 2016 section 704-h on whistle-blower protections and ensure that the next secretary-general is committed to eradicating the sexual abuse in peacekeeping and is committed to protecting whistle-blowers from retaliation. finally, i would like to emphasize that my motive for testifying before you today and for blowing the whistle on the abuse of authority and the sexual abuse is to protect the u.n. as an institution, and to uphold the principles on which it was founded. this has come at a considerable personal sacrifice. i lost my job at ohchr, but i
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remain hopeful that the high commissioner for human rights will reinstate in my position. i hope my testimony today will not impact on the high commissioner's decision. thank you. >> great, thank you, mr. chairman, and ranking member cardin and the other members of the committee for inviting me to appear before the committee today. i serve as president of the better world campaign which works to promote a stronger relationship between the u.s. and the united nations. as the previous witnesses have made clear, there's a cancer within the united nations and it must be cut out. the scourge of sexual exploitation and abuse by u.n. peacekeepers continues. the victims of this abuse are real and the consequences are as well. just two weeks ago, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a peacekeeper from the congo in the hotel room. what a sickening violation, not only of an innocent girl, but the trust placed in the peacekeeper by the united nations and the military that
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sent him to help the people of the central african republic. hearing the horrendous reports emanating from carr it would be natural to want to withdraw all u.n. peacekeepers before more damage could be done, but this basic instinct to protect needs to be balanced against the good the peacekeepers continue to do there. the u.n. mission has played a critical role in the conduct of free democratic elections which have led to the swearing-in of a new legitimate president committed to rebuilding the war torn country and to successful legislative sessions. 62014, peacekeepers have trained the children on the unexploded ordnance. and human rights watch indicated that the u.n. peacekeepers in carr will be critical to disarming rebel factions and re-establishing security.
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so the question is how do we support the vital work being done by u.n. peacekeepers in carr and elsewhere and at the same time, implement meaningful steps to stop sexual exploitation and abuse and ensure justice for victims. if the u.n. is to root out bad actors, what they hail from france or the developing world militaries that are the backbone of unpeacekeeping it must show that new policies just announced by the u.n. and endorsed by the security council will be implemented with unshakeable resolve. the name and shame list issued by the secretary-general of countries charged with sexual exploitation and abuse is ground breaking for first time in the history of u.n. peacekeeping, transparency is now at long last at the core of the u.n.'s response to sca. secretary-general has suspended payment when that's credible allegations against one of the
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troops. he's repatriated contingents to their home country when there was widespread and systemic abuse, again a first. the long overdue, these actions are the right course. even so, even though they're endorsed by the security council, these measures will mean nothing unless they're actively and consistently enforced. a posture that will anger some troop contributing countries. sending home offending contingencies is not only a black eye on the global stage, but a loss of important compensation to the contributing nation. for those countries where there's evidence of widespread or systemic sexual exploitation and abuse, they shown -- should be blocked from joining new missions. the u.n. must say no on deployment until it's made. the secretary-general has the power to do it and he can weeldz it -- wield it and the security
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council must back him up on its. the security council may intervene with lives on the line, international community will look to the u.n. to quickly deploy peacekeepers. only a few countries will offer troops and of those some will have a checkered human rights record. while there will be justifiable demands to deploy a robust force, the u.n. must hold firm and reject any nation with the record of widespread or systematic abuse. as it stands there is a severe shortage of well trained troops for a growing number of increasingly complex and dangerous missions. the u.n. is challenged to recruit the best trained and equipped troops. if peacekeeping is to ultimately free itself from the stain of sexual abuse, the responsibility must not sit with the u.n. alone. other member states need to answer the call. last year's peacekeeping summit resulted in pledges of 40,000 more peacekeeping from the diverse group of countries. ensuring the pledges materialize
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and that troops defly to -- deploy to hardship posts will be instrumental in backing up the denial of southern countries over the records of sexual exploitation and abuse. in conclusion, it is absolutely shameful that it took the high profile sexual exploitation and abuse cases in carr and elsewhere to grab the world's attention to this crisis and to pull open the curtain to the culture of impunity which bests in peacekeeping. the u.n. security council is seized with implementing solutions to this crisis. we have to make it right. because we have no other choice. i'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. >> thank you for your testimony. doctor, can you share with us why you're at present not employed? >> i believe that the reason my contract was not renewed was out
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of retaliation because i'm a whistle-blower. thank you. >> you said something that i think we may have missed an opportunity with the last panel to pursue as much as we should. but you said that 70% of the abuses actually take place by civilians that work directly for the united nations. is that correct? >> that's my understanding. i think it would be useful to check with the u.n. on that statistic. and if so, i would suggest that all of the measures that are being applied to the troop contributing countries should apply to the 70% to the u.n. staff as well. >> mr. yeo, do you agree with the order of magnitude taking place at the civilian level with direct employees? >> there are definitely cases where civilian employees are engaged in cases of sexual exploitation and abuse. the 70% figure strikes me as high but i look forward to working with you to figure out how that number was determined. but i also agree with dr.
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brown's recommendation, which is any tools used to investigate, charges of sexual abuse and in the police contributing countries should apply to civilian employees. >> i would think that, you know, we spend a lot of time talking about, you know, the sovereignty, if you will, and the countries dealing with their own, but the fact is, we should have spent more time on the civilian side itself. i'm looking through a list and i may not by catching every single one, but it could be. it appears in every single case relative to the civilians that i have access to at present, here's one with suspension. but in almost every case, it's a pending issue. can you share with me why that would be the case and not yet adjudicated? >> i can't comment on this figure, but obviously my perspective is that there is a lack of accountability inside the u.n. just as there has been
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for the troop contributing countries. and that does need to be addressed. >> let me ask you this. why -- you're out in the field, you are out in the field i know mr. yeo may have a different perspective, but what it is at the u.n. that would cause them with their own employees that work directly for the united nations to tolerate this and not to be more forceful and ensuring that this not happening? >> i think that one thing to consider here is that this is a level of attention that's now being paid to show exploitation and abuse, not only by police and military contributing countries be by the civilian is also unprecedented because of the horrendous situation coming out of carr. we as a major 22% contributor to the budget of the u.n. and 28% to u.n. peacekeeping need to insist any employee of the u.n. be absolutely subsequent to the
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same forms of discipline and dismissal and justice as we are insisting in troop contributing countries. >> if i could, before dr. brown respond, why wouldn't that be the case? just naturally, why is it that the united states needs to apply pressure on the u.n. for the u.n. to want to prosecute people who work for them who are involved in sexual exploitation? i mean, i don't get it. >> you know, i think that's a couple of factors at work here. none of which justifies it. which is one factor is that so many of the appointments within the u.n. system are derivative of specific countries wanting to place particular employees. so that creates this member state politics within the u.n. system, the 193 member states that sometimes makes it difficult for member states to want their employees to be punished. that's not an excuse.
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but i think that that -- the dynamics are sometimes at work and in an unhelpful and wrong way. >> that's the same thing that occurs on the troop said, right? they don't want actions taken against their own mill tier personnel? >> for sure. it's a little bit more specific because they specifically will not contribute troops to u.n. peacekeeping missions in they don't have total control of the discipline of the troops so if we insist that all discipline cases be adjudicated jointly for instance between the u.n. and the troop contributing countries, then many nations that are the backbone of peace keep make choose to withdraw. that may be a price we have to pay and then the security council has to figure out in a more systemic way how do we get more countries into peacekeeping that can actually make sure that the peacekeepers carry out the work in the ethical and
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principled way. to do otherwise is unacceptable. >> dr. brown, your perspective, why does this culture exist and why would the u.n. be reticent to deal with it? >> i hate to say it, but it reminds me a little bit of the child sexual abuse in the catholic church. i think that there's only now been a realization of the problem at the senior levels in the u.n. that's been cover-ups. i hope that this sudden exposure will result in changes. but there needs to be some structural changes, particularly in terms of reporting because at the moment, you have multiple conflicts of interest, at multiple levels. and just collecting the information is problematic. the human rights offices in the field often face pressures on them not to report or for example, you know, they may -- they have to report in the case of the u.n. staff, they have to report on the colleagues. they may have to report on the
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supervisors. the structures are not in place to prevent them from receiving retaliation. most of them are junior staff on short term contracts. the contracts would be suddenly not renewed. they could be transferred out of the location. there's no incentive for them to report in a way for them to report on their colleagues. that's no -- there's no protections. then following on from that, the office of internal oversight services lacks independence. there are so many problems related to accountability within the un. four, -- now, i think the problems can be addressed. i really do. i think they can be addressed but there needs to be recognition first and that's what i'm calling for. there must be recognition by the u.n. leadership that there are internal problems that have to be fixed including in relation to obviously these abuses that are being committed by u.n. staff. but also protection for the staff who report the abuses. be it by u.n. staff or
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peacekeepers. >> my time is up. but are you telling me that -- with this report that came out in '05 which apparently was somewhat earth shattering at the time, are you telling me that leadership at the united nations has just become aware of this problem? >> no. they have not just become aware of this problem. but rather like the catholic church, it has taken them some time to actually act on it. i hope that they're going to act on it. but they must do so. >> i think the other challenge is for sure the highest levels of the u.n. have known about this even before 2005. so the issue of whether u.n. officials knew about sexual exploitation and abuse and were taken action as the ambassador mentioned in her testimony, there's ongoing dialogue for
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over a decade between the united nations and the troops about the sexual exploitation and abuse. but i think it's taken this case to break it open and get this high level commitment. i think the other thing to consider is the u.n. security council for over a decade on both republican and democratic administrations has been pushing for increased peacekeeping missions, increasingly complex, larger missions. as a result when the u.n. says there aren't enough peacekeepers in the system, there's a real tension between do we approve larger, more complex missions when we don't have enough well trained soldiers with the appropriate command and control to carry out the missions. it's not a simple case of the security council running whole operations. the security council is well aware of this for over a decade and yet continues to approve larger and more complex missions. it's complex. >> thank you, both.
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senator cardin? >> let metha thank both of you professor brown, i can tell you we take the hearings very seriously. so we will very much appreciate you being here. and we'll protect the integrity of our committee process. so thank you for your participation. i looked at the information provided to us by the united nations, at least from the public website. they show one civilian episode in 2016, and then in 2015 i did some quick math and they showed 14 which would be about 20%. now, i don't necessarily believe these are accurate numbers. don't get me wrong. but when you replied to chairman corker that we should ask the united nations i'm not sure
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we'll get the right numbers. i don't know if that's available to us. but we will try. i just had a conversation with my staff and i agree with senator corker. we'll be asking the first panel some additional questions for the record. dealing with the united nations accountability for particularly the civilian issues. there are two parts to the united nations responsibility. one is how they in fact supervised the activities of the participating countries. what they do with the tccs, to watch their conduct. so it's not as just a matter of sending them home. it's a matter of making sure they don't do wrong when they're in the theater. that's a supervision responsibility which falls with the united nations. and yes, we want to take action against countries that are not responding correctly, but there should be accountability within the united nations itself.
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secondly, there needs to be certainly responsibility of the united nations to career -- to give clear direction to its civilian workforce as to what is expected. to give them adequate training, but to have adequate supervision. so again, so that the conduct is clearly understood and zero tolerance is clearly understood, and of course if there are violations there's accountability. accountability not only in removing those individuals, but holding them responsible for their actions. and that may very well require the united nations to have arrangements with its way that it employs its personnel to make sure that's accountability for their activities. so i will be asking those type of questions of our first panel in an effort to try to see how we can complete the circle here because i think you do raise a
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very valid point. it's fine to say that tccs aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing and they should be removed and i agree with that. but it's also the primary responsibility with the united nations and those responsible at the united nations for how these missions are deployed and supervised, et cetera, and how the civilian personnel are expected to behave and in making sure that in fact they do carry that out or are held accountable. so i guess, you know, my point is this. have either one of you seen actions taken to deal with what i just said? is there a clear direction given on the civilian personnel? is there clear supervision? is there clear training? is there clear ways of being able to get the information on those who are violating so that
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they could be removed and held accountable? is there a clear line of responsibility or accountability to the civilians in these countries in which we have the u.n. missions? >> two quick thoughts which is first of all, i think it's important to note that the secretary-general did remove the head of the u.n. mission in carr when these allegations and charges first came to light. i think that's exactly the type of accountability that was long overdue and necessary and will hopefully send a signal to future military commanders that when missions that are under their supervision as you said, they are responsible for making sure that the troops or the various contingents are actually performing their duties in an ethical and principled way and if they fail to do that they should be removed. second of all in terms of the
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civilian employee, employees that are deployed to all of the missions receive extensive training about sexual exploitation, human rights training. but as the previous panel indicated, training is not a substitute for appropriate supervision of work. so in the case of civilian employees, we need to ensure that the people that are at the highest levels within each individual mission are fully responsible for the actions of their employees and at the earliest possible moment that the allegations are raised they are reported to the right authorities within the u.n. system and that actions are taken and that in fact the new immediate response teams that the u.n. has established to make sure that within five to ten days that the actual evidence of crimes related to sexual exploitation and abuse are preserved, deployed in the case of both civilian and military employees. so i couldn't agree more. >> we know that historically within military command there's always been a challenge and
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particularly colleagues reporting misconduct. we know the stark problems and we've tried to take action to deal with it. on the civilian side, dr. brown, is there the same type of inherent problems on reporting colleagues' misconduct? >> i believe so, yes. i think there's the adage -- there's a number of other problems, for example, prosecution would require the lifting of immunity of the staff. also, the way the system is currently constructed it would require the u.n. office of oversight services to investigate and we're talking about the u.n. staff investigating other u.n. staff. there are inherent conflicts of interest within the system that will need to be addressed. >> so with the immunity -- in other words, they're immune from criminal prosecution in the host country? >> in theory. >> but i would also like to make it clear that secretary-general in writing has made it quite
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clear that no u.n. employee who is subject to sexual exploitation and abuse if they had diplomatic immunity, it will be waived. most civilian employees who are deployed as part of peacekeeping missions actually do not have diplomatic immunity. the secretary-general and the u.n.'s team has made it clear that diplomatic immunity will not -- >> knowing that the peace missions are situated, the capacity there to deal with these types of issues are limited. >> that's correct. i think -- i mean, going back to the point of the investigation itself. we have an inherent problem because you have a u.n. investigate guytive body, investing there and you have a conflict of interest in my view
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with the office of oversight services investigating the tcc or even the human rights office investigating it. but when it comes to actually u.n. staff it's that conflict of interest that's exasperated. i think that will need to be addressed. along with the -- if i may, along with the problems inherent in the reporting lines themselves. because there are multiple barriers to this information moving up -- up the chain. >> well, the questions i think i would ask -- i would ask from the united nations, we don't have the right people here, is that what capacity do they build in countries where there are u.n. peacekeeping missions to be able to have the capacity to prosecute those who violate the laws in those countries on sexual exploitation and abuse? that would be an interesting point to see how the united nations is helping the country be able to hold accountable those who violate their -- these laws. >> or these employees need to be repatriated to their home
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countries and subject to prosecution at home. there needs a prosecution in country which is a challenge or at home. >> for civilians it may be more complicated. >> correct, i think so. >> let me just -- just back to the pressure, mr. yeo, you were talking about earlier where you have got the expanding peacekeeping needs that are complex. you've got pressure for more of that to occur. i mean, i look at the types of populations. generally speaking, that are being quote, protected. i mean, is there some institutional disrespect for the types of people that these peacekeeping missions are being sent out to protect? is there something there that we need to understand? >> i think that the disrespect that occurs is between individual soldiers and the
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disrespect that as a result of the individual actions they're taking with the crimes they're committing as a peacekeeper. but different u.n. peacekeeping missions around the world, i am honestly shocked by the willingness of these peacekeepers to serve away from their home for sometimes months, years on end, protecting people they don't even know. and they're doing it at great personal risk when you look at for instance the peacekeepers in mali, there's been dozens of peacekeepers killed there. it's a complex tuation. i think most peacekeepers are absolutely committed to civilian protected. we had a wonderful american deployed to south sudan as part of a peacekeeping mission, and the military showed up at the gates, they demanded that he turn over all the young men in the camp, and he absolutely refused. he stood in the gates and he
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said you may not come in. and as a result the people that day were saved. and of course, you know, he from my perspective is a hero for saving that. there are 200,000 people today living in these camps that largely owe their lives to the fact that we have peacekeepers from around the world guarding these camps trying to do their best to protect the people inside who would otherwise be killed by other elements within the country. it's very complex. i don't think there's a culture they don't want to protect the people they're supposed to protect. i think this is a case of individual soldiers doing wrong and they need to be punished for it. >> let me ask you this based on that and what you just said, are we, do you think today in this hear i hearing getting an unbalanced view of this issue? >> no. i don't think so at all. i think what has happened in carr, what's happened in mal skpirks in terms of sexual
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exploitation and abuse is absolutely horrific. and it gives the entire concept of u.n. peacekeeping a bad name. this hearing is absolutely well timed. it needed to occur. and most importantly it needs to occur a year from now and two years from now. this is not going to be fixed overnight. and we need to make sure there's bilateral and multilateral protection for years to come so that ten years from now we're not looking back at this era and saying, well, we worked on this ten years ago. ten years from now u.n. peacekeeping needs to be the model for how this -- i know this is something that jane hall lute is looking at. what are the best practices for training and command and control to make sure this? how can we borrow from militaries around the world, including the united states, to make sure that we can work with the countries that are the backbone of peacekeeping to improve their performance. it is a long haul and going to require a lot of bilateral and
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multilateral, and, no, the hearing is not unfair. >> let me, the disrespect i was talking about is you have the hierarchy at the united nations that has these complex missions as you mentioned and needs more in the way of peacekeepers, and yet are sending out countries that are known to have problems, i'm sorry. whereas senator isaacson mentioned in many places rape is certainly, you know, an act of war. it's part of war. i was just in the balkans, it's unbelievable to know what and see and understand and meet women who were dealt with there in that way. it was an act of war. it was part of war. so back to the disrespect i'm referring to, i'm talking about not the soldiers. i'm talking about at the u.n. level is there a sense there's just so much in the way of need
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that and these populations is there something there that i'm missing? >> i think there was acceptance of this low grade what was viewed at the time as a low-grade ongoing problem and that acceptance extended for years on end, not just by the highest levels but including members of the security council. i don't think that acceptance is there any longer. if you look at what's new as a result of what has happened, we actually see for the first time ever military units being repay -- no more will be deployed if they have a systematic abuse or refuse to get back to the u.n. for discipline or refuse to investigate. this is the first time they've done this. this is new. and we need to ensure that it's enforced so that units from the
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congo are not deployed in future peacekeeping missions unless they fundamentally change the way they do business. the u.n. is committed to that, it's been endorsed by the security council. and i think the acceptance of these practices i think is over. >> dr. brown. >> if i may, i mean, i agree entirely with what mr. yeo said. i would just add the u.n. has failed from what i can see is that it itself has a problem. and that's what needs to happen. there needs to be a recognition that itself -- it needs to reform itself. it needs to recognize that it doesn't have the accountability structures internally. and most of the measures that apply to the tccs must apply to the u.n. and furthermore, the staff who take great risks in reporting the sexual abuse must be protected. we've had this terrible case which has just sent a chilling message through the system. and that must be rectified otherwise we're going to find
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that people -- staff will simply not report. >> senator cardin. >> i want to thank both of our witnesses. this has been very helpful to us. but it really starts with the recognition that sexual exploitation and abuse is not acceptable. and it has to be carried by the top leaders. so it starts with the top leadership at the united nations. and it has to be not just understood by everyone in the leadership at the united nations. it has to be enforced by everyone in the hierarchy of the united nations. so they understand it's different than it's been in the past. doesn't mean people in the past didn't look at it as serious, but the institution didn't look at it as serious. and that has to change. but it requires a cultural change. and without that you're not going to get the type of action
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that we want to see. the action we want to see is that the member countries participating in the united nations understands that that cannot be tolerated so their leadership impresses upon their participants that this will not be allowed and that if you are involved it's going to be very severe. and that you're bringing disrespect to our country's participation. and our understanding, and we're not going to allow that to happen. it's not allowed. that's what you're going to have to have for there to be the type of change that we want to see occur. so, yes, we've seen some encouraging signs. you've mentioned some of the encouraging signs including the passage of the security council resolution. but we're far from declaring that that has been accomplished in the culture of the united nations. that's something that is still a matter that many of us are concerned whether that message is clearly being broadcast the
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way it should. in the meantime i expect we're going to take some additional action in the congress. >> we want to thank you both. it's been a very powerful hearing. and i think that your testimony -- i hope that your testimony is going to end up affecting people and that hopefully thousands of people who otherwise would have been sexually abused, raped, whatever will not have that experience because of people like you who've been willing to testify in this manner. i want to build on what you just said. i mean, in essence because united nations is providing peacekeepers, in some cases, not every case, are sexually abusing people, are citizens here who work hard every day to raise their families and pay taxes. they're basically sending money,
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sending their hard earned money to an organization that has been unwilling to deal with a crisis within it. and that taints america. it taints the taxpayer money that we're sending. and i hope that somehow very soon the leadership of the united nations will understand that the american people through their elected representatives are not going to stand for us sending money to an organization that is unwilling to deal with this moral depravity taking place there by not being willing to own up to the problem and deal with it in an appropriate way. so, again, we thank you. we appreciate very much your time and your travel. the record will remain open through the close of business friday. and if you could respond fairly promptly. my sense is you'll want to do that. we thank you again. and with that the meeting is
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