UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday that the organization is "ashamed" and "horrified" that its peacekeepers have been implicated in the sexual abuse of vulnerable people.
Ban's remarks at the opening of an African Union summit in Addis Ababa come after a report by the UN human rights office in Geneva that UN soldiers from a European Union-led stabilization force in the Central African Republic are alleged to have sexually abused girls.
"We are all deeply ashamed and horrified over the damage that has been done when peacekeepers abuse and exploit vulnerable people," he said.
"The UN has a zero tolerance policy on sex abuse and exploitation. We must all work together to ensure accountability and transparency."
Previous allegations had been made against French and UN peacekeepers deployed to bring stability to CAR.
The human rights office said two girls told a UN team that they were raped by soldiers of the European Forces Republic of Central Africa (EUFOR) mission, while two others said they were paid to have sex with soldiers from the mission that ended last year.
A top UN official said Friday that it would keep a public record of actions taken by troop-contributing countries to investigate and prosecute allegations of sexual abuse by UN troops.
Ban's office is set to release a report in February that will for the first time name the countries whose soldiers have been accused of such crimes.