“The abuse of children by those sent to help is a significant and painful issue and one that UN peacekeeping has and will continue to address candidly, comprehensively and robustly,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson. “Even one incident is one incident too many.”He noted that the UN is committed to training and monitoring its civilian staff and working with troop and police contributing countries so that all personnel are trained in and are accountable for the highest standards of conduct.As the report cited, the UN has already taken several steps to address the problem, including setting up conduct and discipline units in all missions to boost training for all personnel.“We are determined to redouble our efforts in this regard and to work with all of our partners to implement fully our policy of zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel,” the statement said.The Secretary-General said that the UN will continue to depend on its troop and police contributing countries to investigate and discipline their national personnel found to have committed acts of misconduct – such as sexual exploitation and abuse – while serving in the world body’s operations.Despite having 200,000 peacekeepers, military police and civilians rotating through missions in over 20 locations worldwide, “we do not believe that it is plausible for anyone to claim they do not know what the standard is,” Jane Holl Lute, Assistant-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support (DFS), told reporters in New York today.She called for an intensification of messaging and boosting the responsibility of leadership in the field, along with improving investigative capacity.“But we’re not going to run peacekeeping though investigation and fear,” Ms. Holl Lute noted. “We’re going to run it on purpose and pride.”The Assistant-Secretary-General acknowledged that “a functioning, adequate investigative mechanism” is needed when allegations are brought, as the Save the Children report cited.Characterizing today’s report as “important,” she said that it not only draws attention to gaps – in particular, the weaknesses in the reporting system – that continue to exist, but also stresses that while some steps have been taken, more needs to be done.Ms. Holl Lute said that the recommendations made by Save the Children, including the creation of a global watchdog, have merit and will be taken very seriously. 27 May 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his deep concern over a new report issued by the non-governmental organization Save the Children (UK) that spotlights the under-reporting of child sexual exploitation and abuse by aid workers and peacekeepers.
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and leading suppliers have announced an ambitious plan to make mining vehicles cleaner and safer at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne, Australia.The Innovation for Cleaner Safer Vehicles (ICSV) programme brings together 27 of the world’s leading mining companies and some of the best-known truck and mining equipment suppliers to accelerate innovation to develop a new generation of mine vehicles.The ICSV programme aims to:• Introduce greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles by 2040• Minimise the operational impact of diesel exhaust by 2025• Make collision avoidance technology available to mining companies by 2025.The initiative has CEO-level support within all participating mining companies and equipment manufacturers. The programme will benefit the entire mining sector, not just ICMM members and is open to other equipment manufacturers who would like to join.Tom Butler, ICMM Chief Executive said: “This new collaboration between ICMM and the world’s leading mining equipment manufacturers will drive innovation to help us tackle global warming and improve mine safety. We hope that this ambitious programme will lead to the development of a new generation of cleaner safer vehicles, and we look forward to working with our new partners.“ICMM is focused on improving the safety, social and environmental performance of the mining and metals industry. The launch of the ICSV programme is a practical example of how our members are mining with principles to tackle the major social and environmental issues that affect us all. This collaboration will deliver more together than any individual company could achieve on its own and shows how the metals and mining industry can act as a catalyst for change.”Denise Johnson, Caterpillar Group President, Resource Industries, said: “From the outset we could see the ambition of the programme and are excited to be involved. The collaboration between such a range of mining companies and suppliers can further the safety and environmental performance of mobile mining equipment.”This programme will be guided by a CEO advisory group comprising six representatives, three from ICMM member companies: Andrew Mackenzie (CEO, BHP), David Garofalo (CEO, Goldcorp) and Nick Holland (CEO, Gold Fields), and three from participating suppliers: Denise Johnson (Group President, Resource Industries, Caterpillar), Max Moriyama (President, Mining Business Division, Komatsu Ltd), and Lars Engström (President, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology).