The UN’s Conduct and Discipline website now has a new section. Called “Statistics,” it will make public the aggregate data on peacekeeper abuses. It’s an impressive demonstration of transparency – or at least it will be. The data isn’t up there yet.
Here’s what the statistics page says at present:
“Record-keeping and data tracking of allegations of misconduct and subsequent actions started in 2006. In July 2008, the Department of Field Support (DFS) launched the Misconduct Tracking System (MTS), a global database and confidential tracking system for all allegations of misconduct.
The statistical information provided on this website is derived from MTS as well as data received from the Investigation Division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services. The data contained in MTS originates primarily from entries made by Conduct and Discipline Teams (CDTs) in the field. The data is constantly updated with relevant new information, as received by CDTs and by the Conduct and Discipline Unit of DFS. Such data may therefore differ from previously reported statistics.
An allegation is an unproven report of alleged misconduct, which may not necessarily lead to an investigation if there is insufficient information to warrant an investigation. Allegations are counted per incident, irrespective of the number of individuals involved.
A completed investigation is an investigation report with details on evidence either substantiating or not substantiating the allegations against a number of individuals. Completed investigations are counted on the basis of individuals involved.”
If the UN follows through and puts the data up there, it will be an impressive tool for ensuring accountability of peacekeepers and the UN. It will allow users to track allegations, investigations, and punitive action taken. If it allows activists to name and shame countries that don’t follow through on abuse allegations or discipline, it could have an enormous impact on reducing the incidence of abuse.