Prime Minister Hun Sen renewed Cambodia’s commitment to preventing sexual exploitation and abuse during UN peacekeeping operations.

Cambodia retained its position as among 14 of 222 countries which are not involved in sexual exploitation and abuse in their mission areas.

The renewed commitment was made in a two-minute video clip which was posted on his Facebook webpage on Wednesday.

Hun Sen said: “As a member of the leadership, I reaffirm the commitment of the Cambodian government to strongly support and apply a policy of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse during UN peacekeeping operations. Cambodia joins other members in preventing such acts as well.”

The prime minister said as part of the UN peacekeeping troops, Cambodia’s blue helmets had strictly adhered to the policy with greater responsibility, dignity, morality and strict discipline.

He said offenders who committed sexual exploitation and abuse must be held responsible under the law for their actions.

For 13 years beginning in 2006, Cambodia had sent 6,352 blue helmet troops to fulfil 10 missions in Sudan, South Sudan, Lebanon, Central Africa, Syria, Cyprus, Mali and Chad. Of the troops, 328 were women.

Cambodia’s National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida said Cambodia’s blue helmet troops included engineers, medics, mine-clearing forces, military police personnel and unexploded ordnance destroying forces.

The Kingdom also has reserve troops who are ready and on standby for immediate participation whenever the UN calls for them to be active.

Chou Bun Eng, the Secretary of State and Permanent vice-chair of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking of Cambodia (NCCT) said Hun Sen’s message showed that Cambodia would continue to support the elimination of sexual exploitation and abuse.

“His remarks mean that the government holds strongly to UN principles and adheres to the position of absolutely objecting to sexual exploitation and abuse,” she stressed.