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The Secretary-General of United Nations will convene a High-Level Meeting on combating sexual exploitation and abuse today in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. This event will serve as a visible demonstration, at the highest political level, of the solidarity of the international community in condemning and committing to combating this scourge while placing the rights and dignity of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse at the forefront of collective efforts.

TheHigh-level Meeting will seeSecretary-GeneralAntnio Guterres announce theCircle of Leadership on the prevention of and response to sexual exploitation and abuse in UN operations. The Circle will comprise Heads of State and Government committed to ending impunity and strengthening measures to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse in international deployments.

Combatting the scourge is one of the key priorities for Mr. Guterres, who since being elected to the position took a number of steps to stomp it out. In his first week in office, the UN chief established a special task force to look at the issue and to recommend concrete actions.

The matter was also the subject of hisfirst report to UN Member Statesin March this year, in which, among other matters, he called for the High-level Meeting to make a political demonstration of solidarity with the Organization’s efforts to eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse.

He also called for a system-wide Victims’ Rights Advocate, who will stand for the rights and dignity of victims alongside their need for assistance and attention in the wake of allegations and abuse.

Jane Holl Lute, UN Special Coordinator on improving the UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse visits Central African Republic (CAR). UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis

The meeting will alsointroduce Jane Connors, the Victims’ Rights Advocate, who was appointed last month.In 2016, the Secretary-General established a Trust Fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. Member States that have contributed to the Secretary-Generals Trust Fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse will be recognized and others will be encouraged to participate.

It will also present the state of the Secretary-General’s Trust Fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse, and make an appeal for additional contributions, and we will also update Member States on the state of the compacts between them and the UN on more specific measures to combat sexual exploitation and abuse,Jane Holl Lute, theSpecial Coordinator on improving the UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse, said in an interview withUN News.

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