In remarks delivered in Haitian Creole, French and English, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized for the cholera epidemic in Haiti and the inadequate UN response to the epidemic. Though he did not directly say that the UN caused the epidemic, he subtly acknowledged it and pledged to do much more, describing the UN’s new plan for cholera elimination and stressing that it is feasible. Cholera victims in Haiti accepted the apology but were clear that it is not enough if the cholera elimination plan does not move forward, and quickly.
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Ban Ki-moon apologizes to Haiti for cholera outbreak, doesn’t admit fault
Tom Murphy, Humanosphere
December 2, 2016
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took another step in recognizing the failures of the U.N. during the cholera outbreak in Haiti. He apologized in remarks delivered in Creole, English and French for not doing enough, but did mention the U.N.’s role in causing the outbreak.
“The United Nations deeply regrets the loss of life and suffering caused by the cholera outbreak in Haiti,” Ban said. “On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: We apologize to the Haitian people. We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti.”
“We are profoundly sorry for our role.”
Ban went on to say that the outbreak is a “blemish on the reputation of U.N. peacekeeping.” It is a subtle acknowledgment that cholera was brought to Haiti by a Nepalese peacekeeping unit. But the remarks did not go as far as accepting full blame.
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