The United Nations’ Regional Conduct and Discipline Section (RCDS) provides guidance to peacekeeping operations and special political missions on conduct and discipline matters involving all categories of personnel.
RCDS addresses all forms of misconduct by UN personnel, including acts of Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (SEA).
UN Standards of Conduct
The United Nations is committed to ensuring the highest standards of conduct, professionalism and accountability of all its personnel. The Department of Field Support (DFS) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) are responsible for enforcing UN policies on conduct in peacekeeping operations.
UN Standards of Conduct are based on three key principles
1. Highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity.
2. Zero Tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
3. Accountability of those in command who fail to enforce the Standards of Conduct.
The main documents incorporating UN Standards of Conduct for Civilian Personnel, including UN staff members, UN Volunteers, Consultants and Contractors are:
UN Financial Regulations and Rules
Status, basic rights and duties of UN Staff members
Measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse - ST/SGB/2003/13
The Secretary-General’s Report on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: A New Approach - A/71/818
Other Administrative Issuances, including on the use of information and communication technology
The following documents incorporate UN Standards of Conduct specifically in relation to uniformed personnel (military and police):
Revised Memorandum of Understanding between the UN and Troop Contributing Countries incorporating the annex “We are the UN Peacekeeping Personnel”.
Regulations Governing the Status, Basic Rights and Duties of Officials other than Secretariat Officials, and Experts on Mission.
Observance by United Nations forces of international humanitarian law.
Directives for Disciplinary Matters involving Civilian Police Officers and Military Observers.
Other Administrative Issuances, including use of information and communication technology.
What is misconduct?
UN Rules define misconduct as the failure by a staff member to comply with his or her obligations under the Charter of the United Nations, the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules or other relevant administrative issuances or to observe the standards of conduct expected of an international civil servant. Misconduct may lead to the institution of a disciplinary process and the imposition of disciplinary measures. Similar provisions apply to all other categories of UN peacekeeping personnel.
What is sexual exploitation and Sexual Abuse?
Sexual exploitation is any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.
Sexual abuse is the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
How to report acts of misconduct?
All UN personnel have the duty to report all allegations of misconduct that they become aware of or suspect. NON UN personnel may also make complaints to the Regional Conduct & Discipline Section (RCDS).
Allegations of serious misconduct including allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (SEA) should be reported within 24 hours of the occurrence of the incident or within 24 hours of any UN personnel member becoming aware of an incident.
Other misconduct should be reported within 7 days of its occurrence or within 7 days of any UN personnel becoming aware of an incident.
All information is treated confidentially with due consideration for the safety and security of the parties involved.
Anyone can send their complaints to RCDS by:
Post: Regional Conduct & Discipline Section, UNIFIL HQ, Naqoura, Lebanon
Tel: +961 1 920000- ext: 6215-6216-6217-6218-6219