The video shows a woman in a red dress on the legs of a man sitting in the back seat of a white truck with UN badges. The highest authority of the agency indicated that an investigation is being carried out into the fact.
Authorities of the United Nations (UN) declared themselves “shocked and deeply disturbed” about an apparent sexual act in one of their official vehicles in Israel.
A witness filmed the scene on a street on Tel Aviv’s promenade and shared the images on social media. The video shows a woman in a red dress on the legs of a man sitting in the back seat of a white truck with UN badges.
The UN said it is investigating the incident and the people in the video are estimated to be on the staff of a peacekeeping organization in Israel.
Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, described the scene as “abhorrent” . “This type of behavior goes against everything we stand for and what we have been working towards in terms of combating misconduct by UN personnel ,” Dujarric told the British BBC on Friday.
Dujarric also said there is an investigation into whether the apparent sexual act was consented to or involved payment. “We hope that the process will conclude very quickly and we intend to take the appropriate measures quickly,” he concluded.
According to the buildings visible in the video, the incident appears to have occurred on HaYarkon Street in an area of Tel Aviv with a high circulation of people.
The United Nations has a strict manual on actions against sexual misconduct and its staff can be disciplined if they are found to have violated established standards. They may be repatriated or suspended from work at the UN, but it is the responsibility of their country of origin to take further disciplinary or legal measures.
The UN has long been under scrutiny for allegations of sexual misconduct by its peacekeepers and other officials. In 2019, there were 175 complaints of sexual exploitation and abuse against UN staff members. Of these complaints, 16 were corroborated, 15 were not corroborated, and the others are still under investigation.
António Guterres, UN Secretary General, promised to adopt a “zero tolerance” approach to sexual misconduct in United Nations missions.