UN staffer filmed in Israel having sex in official vehicle; internal probe launched

In the video, a woman in a red dress is reportedly seen straddling a man in the back seat of the vehicle.

UN staffer filmed in Israel having sex in official vehicle; internal probe launched
Representational Image: Reuters

New Delhi: The United Nations is "shocked and deeply disturbed" over video footage showing an alleged sex act in one of its official cars in Israel's Tel Aviv, according to reports. The UN has launched an internal investigation after a video clip was circulated widely last week on social media. 

In the video, a woman in a red dress is seen straddling a man in the back seat of the vehicle, said Jewish Journal report. The driver and a passenger in the front are reportedly seen in the vehicle plying on HaYarkon Street, a block away from Tel Aviv’s beachside promenade.

On Friday afternoon, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric reportedly confirmed to reporters in New York that the clip, which is less than 30 seconds long, shows personnel in the car “likely assigned to the UN Truce Supervision Organization [UNTSO].”

UNTSO is the Jerusalem-based peace-keeping mission established in 1948 to “monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements and prevent military escalation,” according to the United Nations.

“We are shocked and deeply disturbed by what is seen on the video,” Dujarric is quoted by JNS as saying during a regular briefing to UN correspondents.

The UN spokesperson further said, “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.” 

UNTSO also issued a statement on Friday. It said, “The Mission stands committed to the Organization’s zero-tolerance policy against any kind of misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse, and reminds its personnel of their obligations to the UN Code of Conduct."

"As part of the Secretary-General’s commitment to transparency, we will keep the media informed upon conclusion of the investigation,” the statement added. 

There were 175 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation among or against UN staff in 2019, of which 16 were substantiated, 15 unsubstantiated and the rest still under investigation, a BBC report said.