Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, May10, 2005

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For IMMEDIATE Release

UN Peacekeeping Reform
Smith Schedules Wednesday Hearing on Accountability and Integrity in UN Peacekeeping Actions

BACKGROUND:  In May 2004, allegations of sexual misconduct and exploitation by United Nations personnel deployed in eastern Congo became public.  A January 2005 report prepared by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) described the allegations of abuse of women and girls as “serious and ongoing.”  Investigators for OIOS reported that many Congolese girls aged 11 to 14 years were being sexually exploited “as a means of getting food and sometimes small sums of money,” and that “equally disturbing … was the lack of a protection and deterrence program, even now.”  Similar allegations were leveled in 2002 against UN peacekeepers operating in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  A report on sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeeping personnel, prepared by Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein of Jordan, contained several recommendations and was endorsed by a UN Special Committee in April.  A draft Code of Conduct for UN peacekeepers is reportedly circulating within the UN, but not yet adopted.  Wednesday’s hearing will examine broader issues of proposed reforms in UN peacekeeping and focus on strategies the U.S. Government can adopt to encourage enactment of reforms at the UN, including creation of a Peacemaking Commission and Peace Support Office in the Secretariat.

WHAT:                              Subcommittee Oversight Hearing:
                                           UN Peacekeeping Reform: Seeking Greater Accountability
and Integrity
                                          
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations
                                           U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

WHEN:                              2:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, 2005

WHERE:                            Room 2200 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES:                     Panel I: 
                    Philo L. Dibble
, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, U.S. Department of State;
                    Panel II: 
                    Eric Schwartz
, Consultant, Council on Foreign Relations; and
                    Victoria Holt
, Senior Associate, The Henry L. Stimson Center.

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