A senior UNICEF figure has quit the organisation after he admitted "some personal mistakes" towards three women in a previous role.

Justin Forsyth resigned from his position as deputy executive director following complaints about his behaviour during his time at Save The Children.

He stressed he is not standing down because of the "mistakes" he made while at Save The Children, but "because of the danger of damaging both UNICEF and Save The Children and our wider cause".

Earlier this week, Save The Children confirmed concerns were raised about Mr Forsyth's "inappropriate behaviour and comments" in 2011 and 2015, while he was the charity's chief executive.

Mr Forsyth was said to have given "unreserved apologies" to three female employees following an internal investigation.

According to reports, Mr Forsyth had been accused of sending inappropriate texts and commenting on the outfits of young female staff.

Image:Save The Children have launched a 'root and branch review'

In a statement announcing his departure from UNICEF, Mr Forsyth said: "I want to make clear I am not resigning from UNICEF because of the mistakes I made at Save the Children.

"They were dealt with through a proper process many years ago. I apologised unreservedly at the time and face to face. I apologise again.

"There is no doubt in my mind that some of the coverage around me is not just to (rightly) hold me to account, but also to attempt to do serious damage to our cause and the case for aid.

"I am resigning because of the danger of damaging both UNICEF and Save the Children and our wider cause. Two organisations I truly love and cherish. I can't let this happen."

Mr Forsyth also thanked his wife Lisa "for her love", adding: "I am looking forward to spending more time with her and my son."

Brendan Cox, widower of MP Jo Cox
Image:Brendan Cox admitted making women feel 'uncomfortable'

Save The Children recently launched a "root and branch review" of their organisational culture, safeguarding processes and "any behavioural challenges among senior leadership".

It came after Brendan Cox, the widow of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox,apologised for the "hurt and offence" that some of his past behaviour had caused while he worked at Save The Children.

He admitted some of his conduct towards women during his time at the charity would have left them feeling "uncomfortable", as he quit two charities set up in his late wife's name.

Mr Cox and Mr Forsyth had previously worked together at 10 Downing Street under former prime minister Gordon Brown.

More from Oxfam

Allegations against the pair emerged amid a scandal at fellow international aid charity Oxfam.

Top officials at both Save The Children and Oxfam were hauled before the House of Commons' International Development Committee on Tuesday, as MPs held an urgent evidence session on sexual exploitation in the aid sector.

Original Article


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