As part of my commitment to encourage and enable staff to call out sexual harassment in the workplace, and to support victims and witnesses, I am pleased to announce the launch of a “Speak up” helpline.
The helpline is a 24-hour resource for UN Secretariat personnel to speak confidentially with an impartial and trained individual who can provide information on protection, support and reporting mechanisms. Going live tomorrow, the helpline will complement existing reporting mechanisms. The goal is to attend to the needs of personnel, and to empower them to make informed decisions on action, if they choose. More details, including the phone number, will be provided by the Office of Human Resources Management.
To improve and centralize our response capacity, the Investigations Division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services will, with immediate effect, take responsibility for investigating all complaints of sexual harassment, and implement a streamlined, fast-tracked procedure to receive, process and address complaints. A specialized team focusing on the investigation of sexual harassment is being created, and additional investigators are under recruitment. Particular attention will be given to increasing the number of female investigators.
I reiterate my commitment to zero tolerance of sexual harassment, and underline that harassment of any type is antithetical to the principles for which we stand as an Organization. As members of a standard-setting institution, we must all be committed to fostering an inclusive environment in which every person is valued and respected. A harmonious, safe and civil workplace is a key to delivering on our mandates for the people we serve.
Secretary-General António Guterres
26 Feb 2018