Angelina Jolie-Pitt: Abusive peacekeepers must be prosecuted

Angelina Jolie has said that prosecutions of UN peacekeepers found guilty of sexual abuse or misconduct would mean more than "any number of UN Security Council resolutions".

The actress and UN ambassador was speaking at Lancaster House for the afternoon session of the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London.

In her speech, she also urged countries to sign up to an agreement pledging to increase the involvement of women throughout the peacekeeping process.

The agreement put forward on Thursday saw countries pledge to:

  • double the number of women involved in UN peacekeeping operations within four years

  • integrate the needs of women in all stages of the planning process

  • equip missions so they can respond to violence and mass atrocities

  • eliminate all forms of abuse and exploitation by members of peacekeeping missions

Talking of the alarming number of sexual abuse claims against peacekeepers around the world, and the ineffectiveness of UN security council resolutions, she said that prosecutions would mean more to survivors of violence.

The UN Special Envoy said that increasing the number of peacekeepers around the world would not be enough, and needs to be accompanied by a "new way of conducting peacekeeping" which has women at its heart.

She urged countries that have not signed, to sign up to the agreement, saying "the vast majority of your citizens want their countries to be on the right side".

Her speech came as Defence Secretary Michael Fallon pledged to deploy up to 400 UK troops in South Sudan, as part of a UN peacekeeping mission in the African country.