UN holds conference to end sexual exploitation

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Monday his policy of "zero tolerance" of sexual abuse in the United Nations' far-flung global operations is still not getting through to civilians and soldiers. A conference on eliminating sexual exploitation and abuse brought UN staff, member states and non-governmental organizations together to discuss new strategies for addressing the problem, as a frustrated Annan reported that allegations of sexual misconduct against U.N. peacekeepers continue. "My message of zero tolerance has still not got through to those who need to hear it - from managers and commanders on the ground, to all our other personnel," the secretary-general said at the beginning of the daylong conference at the Millennium Hotel across from UN headquarters. "Acts of sexual exploitation and abuse by both civilian and uniformed United Nations personnel continue to occur."