Actress-filmmaker Angelina Jolie made a surprise appearance at a UN peacekeeping summit, where she told delegates from 80 countries that the organisations reputation had been undermined by intolerable cases of sexual abuse by peacekeepers.
During her visit on Thursday, the UN special envoy described being moved by the desire for justice and accountability of refugee women she had met and those who had been abused by international troops, reports theguardian.com.
"We all know that the credibility of UN peacekeeping has been sadly undermined by the actions of a few intolerable cases of women and children being sexually exploited by the very people in charge of protecting them," Jolie said.
Calling for the prosecution of peacekeepers who commit abuses, Jolie said a new approach to peacekeeping was needed that had the "rights and protection and involvement of women at its heart".
She also urged more women to participate in missions.
"Peacekeeping forces can only gain and keep the trust of local populations if they are able to engage with women as well as men in that community," she said.
Sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers, and the participation of women in missions, were among the key themes of the summit, following allegations of sexual assault in countries including Haiti and Central African Republic.