It is important that investigations into allegations of possible misconduct are thorough and conducted in a timely manner, with sensitivity to any potential victims. Investigations can be carried out by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) or investigative entities in the mission, including the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), Military Police, United Nations Police and ad-hoc panels. Conduct and Discipline Teams (CDTs) do not conduct investigations.
Members of military contingents deployed in UN operations remain under the exclusive jurisdiction of their national government. The responsibility for investigating an allegation of misconduct and taking subsequent disciplinary action rests with the troop-contributing country, in accordance with the revised model memorandum of understanding (MOU), endorsed by the General Assembly in 2007. Some troop-contributing countries opt to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in collaboration with OIOS. If a troop contributing country does not opt to investigate allegations involving its personnel, the UN will conduct its own administrative investigation into the matter.
When the UN receives information about possible serious misconduct, as defined by the MOU, involving one or more members of a military contingent, in the vast majority of cases the UN will refer the matter to the Permanent Mission of the country in question, requesting the Government to appoint a national investigation officer to investigate the allegation(s). Since July 2016, troop-contributing countries are required to include national investigation officers within their contingents to ensure that investigations start in a timely manner. In matters involving misconduct (not amounting to serious misconduct), the matter would normally be referred to the Contingent Commander for investigation.
The troop-contributing country involved must report back to the UN on the outcome of the investigation and on any actions taken.
UN investigative entities are required to complete investigations into allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse within six months, subject to extenuating circumstances. Troop-contributing countries have also been asked to complete their investigations within this time frame. In matters deemed particularly urgent, troop-contributing countries are requested to complete investigations within 90 days, which may also be done by UN investigative entities in similar circumstances.