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Sunday, 13 March 2016

From Today's Papers - 13 Mar 2016

A first: Resolution to tackle sexual abuse by UN troops
United Nations, March 12
The UN Security Council today approved its first-ever resolution tackling the escalating problem of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers who act as predators when sent to protect vulnerable civilians in some of the world’s most volatile areas.

The United Nations has been in the spotlight for months over allegations of child rape and other sexual abuses by its peacekeepers, especially those based in Central African Republic and Congo. The UN says there were 69 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers in 2015, with an additional 25 allegations so far this year.

The resolution was approved by a vote of 14-0 with Egypt abstaining after a last-minute amendment it proposed that would have weakened the text.

The US-drafted resolution endorses Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s plan for reform, including his decision to repatriate military or police units “where there is credible evidence of widespread or systemic sexual exploitation and abuse.”

It also asks Ban to replace contingents where allegations are not properly investigated, perpetrators are not held accountable or the secretary-general is not informed on the progress of investigations.

The Egyptian amendment would have required that all three conditions were met before a military or police unit is sent home, not just one of them as now required.

It’s up to the home country of the soldier or police officer to conduct the investigation and determine the punishment if allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation are proven.

The United States, the biggest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, said it wanted the UN’s most powerful body to send a strong signal that it would not tolerate the escalating problem.

“To the victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers, we pledge that we will do better,” US Ambassador Samantha Power said after the vote. “We will do better to ensure that the blue helmets that we send as your protectors will not become perpetrators,” Power said.

Secretary-General Ban called the resolution “a significant step in our collective efforts to combat the terrible damage caused to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse” and pledged to ensure protection and support for those who have been abused, his spokesman said.

More than 100,000 troops and police are deployed in the UN’s far-flung peacekeeping operations, the vast majority from developing countries. The United Nations reimburses troop contributing countries for salaries and provides allowances for peacekeepers. — AP
Lt Gen Hira appointed Deputy Chief of Indian Army

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JAMMU: Chief of the Army's Northen Command, Lt Gen N P S Hira has been appointed as Deputy Chief of Army Staff and would assume office on March 14.

"Lt Gen N P S Hira, who is presently posted as Chief of Staff of Northern command at Udhampur, has been posted to Army Headquarters at Delhi to take over as Deputy Chief of Army Staff with effect from March 14," Defence spokesman, Col S D Goswami said.

He said the General was commissioned in the Sikh Light Infantry and has a rich  ..

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Indian Army most admired, respected institution: Army chief General Dalbir Singh

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CHENNAI: Army chief General Dalbir Singh today said the force was the "most admired and respected institution" in the country and it was even being recognised by the international community.

"Indian Army has an image. Our Army is the most admired and respected institution in the country. We have rendered exemplary service in the face of external and internal challenges," he said in his address after reviewing a passing out parade at the Officers' Training Academy here.

He said ..

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