The United Nations on Friday said it was investigating a video that emerged online of what appeared to be a sexual act taking place in an official UN vehicle in Tel Aviv.
In the 18-second video, a woman in a red dress is seen straddling a man in the back seat of clearly marked white UN vehicle. Another man appears to be asleep in the passenger seat. The clip was shared widely on social media on Friday.
A UN spokesperson told The Times of Israel that the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services was “moving very quickly” on an investigation into the incident, and that it had nearly identified the individuals in the clip.
“We are shocked and deeply disturbed by what is seen on the video,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. “The behavior seen in it is abhorrent and goes against everything that we stand for and having been working to achieve in terms of fighting misconduct by UN staff.”
I present to you…..the UN pic.twitter.com/7bqw2fzVZa
— Mattea Merta ???? (@MatteaMerta) June 25, 2020
“We expect the process to be concluded very quickly and intend to promptly take the appropriate action,” he said.
The UN became aware of the video earlier this week and knew where it had been filmed, Dujarric said.
The vehicle appears to be on a road near the Tel Aviv beach. None of the passengers’ faces are visible.
The UN said the vehicle’s occupants are believed to be staffers from the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), a peacekeeping force established in 1948 and based in Jerusalem.
The UN maintains strict regulations barring sexual misconduct by staffers and has come under fire for violations in recent years.
A report by the UN confirmed 175 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by staffers in 2019. Sixteen claims were substantiated, fifteen were found to be unsubstantiated, and the rest were under investigation.