UN suspends 2 staff over sex-in-car scandal

Two UN workers have been suspended after a video of people having sex in an official vehicle in Israel sparked an outcry.

In the 18-second video which was posted on Twitter, a man in the back seat of a white car in Tel Aviv marked with the UN letters is seen being straddled by a woman in a red dress.

The man is just wearing a T-shirt and shorts and another male passenger in the front of the car appears to be asleep. The vehicle is then driven further down the road.

Now the United Nations has placed the two male workers on unpaid leave over allegations of sexual misconduct, Daily Mail reports.

The UN also confirmed the two men in the car are workers from the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), a peacekeeping force based in Jerusalem.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said yesterday that their suspension was appropriate ‘given the seriousness of the allegations of failing to observe the standards of conduct expected of international civil servants’.

‘UNTSO has re-engaged in a robust awareness-raising campaign to remind its personnel of their obligations to the UN Code of Conduct,’ Mr Dujarric added.

When the video first emerged he said: ‘We are shocked and deeply disturbed by what is seen on the video.

‘The behaviour 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.’

Although the UN has strict regulations governing sexual misconduct by its workers, it has repeatedly come under fire for breaches in recent years.

In December, a report claimed peacekeepers at the UN had ‘hundreds of babies with women in Haiti before abandoning the young mothers.

The study into the UN mission in the disaster-hit Caribbean country said girls as young as 11 were left pregnant after being sexually abused.

Some of the girls were traded for ‘a few coins’ in order to get food and would have sex with the peacekeepers so they could survive, the British academic-led study found.

After their children were born, the young mothers were left to a life of poverty.

Soldiers from as many as 12 different countries, including Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Canada and France, were found to have impregnated local women, the report stated.

The UN also knew of charity workers offering refugees food in exchange for sexual favours for more than a decade, it has been revealed.

An 84-page report on ‘food-for-sex’ practices in West African refugee camps was compiled and handed over to the UN in 2002, but was never published.

It claimed that workers at more than 40 aid organisations, of which 15 are major international charities including Save the Children and Médecins Sans Frontières, sexually exploited young refugees.

It marked yet another aid worker sex scandal in the spotlight.

Viewers on Twitter expressed their dismay at the clip of people having sex in the car, with one writing: ‘Why am I not surprised.’

The person who posted the video, Canadian woman Mattea Merta, is a ‘pro-family representative’ at the UN, according to her Twitter profile.

She wrote above the post: ‘I present to you…..the UN’.

Another viewer wrote in response to the clip, ‘No big surprise is it?’

Ms Merta replied: ‘Nope, not at all. Compared to stories I’ve heard from people who have left their UN jobs…this was an innocent situation.’