A clip of a UN official engaging in an apparent sex act while sitting in Tel Aviv traffic, which has been making the round on social media, was condemned Friday by the UN's Secretary General, António Guterres, according to a BBC news report on Friday.
The UN said in a statement that it is "shocked and deeply disturbed" by the footage on social media, which shows an apparent sex act being performed in an official UN vehicle between a woman in a red dress and the occupant in the back seat. Officials from the UN also said that they are investigating the incident, and will be able to identify the individual in the video in the coming days.
The video was allegedly filmed on a main street by Tel Aviv's seafront. It is believed that the individual in the video is a staff member involved in peacekeeping organization in Israel, according to the UN. In addition to the two individuals in the back seat, another person can be seen slumping in the passenger's seat.
Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for Guterres, characterized their behavior in the 18-second as "abhorrent".
This behavior "goes against everything we stand for and having been working to achieve in terms of fighting misconduct by UN staff", Dujarric told the BBC on Friday.
Dujarric also noted that it remains unclear as to whether the sex was consensual, or involved payment. The condemnation of the persons in the car follows in accordance with UN policies regarding sexual misconduct among its members.
"We expect the process to be concluded very quickly and intend to promptly take the appropriate action," Dujarric said.
Dujarric also noted that the persons involved were likely assigned to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO).
Co-director of Human Rights Watch's women's rights division, Heather Barr, remarked on the frequency of sexual misconduct in UN missions, saying that the revelation was "not surpris[ing}."
The UN has been under scrutiny in recent years due to other revelations of sexual misconduct among its staff and peacekeepers.