UN peacekeepers can face non-deployment for rights violations

UN peacekeepers can face non-deployment for rights violations Photo: Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, Just News BD

UN correspondent

If allegations of human rights violations against UN peacekeepers are substantiated then they can face non-deployment and repatriation in peacekeeping missions, said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN secretary general, when he was asked about a recent DW investigative documentary which revealed that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had sent officers who are implicated in extreme human rights violations, such as torture and extrajudicial killings, on UN peacekeeping missions.

The spokesperson made the remark at UN noon briefing on Wednesday when UN permanent correspondent Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey drew attention to the DW report and sought to know if the UN chief is aware about these violators of human rights.

Spokesperson Dujarric said they watched the DW documentary and the UN colleagues in the peacekeeping department interacted and gave a statement to the producers.

“But, you know, we want to restate very clearly that the [UN] secretariat is committed to deploying personnel that meet the highest standards of efficiency and integrity, including respect for and commitment to human rights, and has established the relevant procedures and mechanisms under the policy on human rights screening of UN personnel,” he added.

Ansarey later raised questions regarding the screening process as the countries sending troops on peacekeeping missions are themselves responsible for the screening. He asked how a regime, which itself are extreme human rights abusers, can identify who is an abuser and who is not.

Dujarric said there are three parts to the screening. One involves self-certification; the other one involves the certification by the sending country, and there’s another procedure followed by the office for human rights, the High Commissioner’s Office for Human Rights.

“Over the years, I can tell you that there have been cases where we were informed of allegations of past human rights violations committed by uniformed personnel from a small number of countries deploying in our peacekeeping missions,” he said.

The spokesperson said when such cases occur, our peacekeeping colleagues take appropriate action in accordance with their screening policy and other relevant frameworks, including in consultation with troop-contributing countries.

And sometimes it can result in uniformed personnel not being deployed or even being repatriated by the UN if allegations are substantiated, he added.

MR/