The United Nations said it has suspended two male staff members involved in a recent viral sex video in Israel.
Mr Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the Secretary-General, disclosed this in a note to UN correspondents in New York on Thursday.
Dujarric said both employees had been identified and placed on “Administrative Leave Without Pay” pending the conclusion of an ongoing investigation into the allegation.
The video, which surfaced online last week, shows a couple apparently having sex on the back seat of a UN official car in Tel Aviv.
On Friday, Dujarric told correspondents that the organisation was “shocked and deeply disturbed” by the footage, and that investigation had been launched.
He confirmed that the video featured a 4×4 vehicle, containing personnel “likely assigned to the UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO)” headquartered in Jerusalem.
The short video shows a white woman in a red dress straddling an equally white man in the back seat of the white SUV bearing the “UN” inscription.
With them in the moving vehicle were the driver and a bald-head man sitting on the passenger side, in front.
Media reports say the footage was recorded on HaYarkon Street, a major thoroughfare in Tel Aviv, Israeli capital.
The UN spokesman said in Thursday’s note that the investigation was being handled by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).
He said: “Two male international staff members, who were in the UN vehicle in Tel Aviv have been identified as having engaged in misconduct, including conduct of sexual nature.
“Given the seriousness of the allegation of failing to observe the standards of conduct expected of international civil servants, the two staff members have been placed on Administrative Leave Without Pay.
“This is pending the results and conclusion of the ongoing OIOS investigation.
“UNTSO has re-engaged in a robust awareness-raising campaign to remind its personnel of their obligations to the UN Code of Conduct.
“The OIOS investigation continues, and we will keep you informed,” he said.
According to the organisation, UNTSO is the first-ever peacekeeping mission established by the UN in 1948.
It says the mission comprises military observers to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements and prevent military escalation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that sexual misconduct is not new among employees of the global body.
In 2019, the UN said it received and investigated 175 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against its staff.
Out of the total, 16 were substantiated, 15 unsubstantiated and all others still being investigated.