FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston): firstname.lastname@example.org, +617-652- 0876
Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (Port-au-Prince) : email@example.com, +509-4875-3444
Thursday, December 1, 2016, New York — On Thursday, December 1, the UN Secretary-General is launching a new UN response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti. The Secretary-General is also expected to address Haitians who have suffered from cholera during the presentation, and may issue a public apology for the UN’s introduction of cholera to Haiti.
What: Secretary-General address on new cholera response.
When: Thursday December 1, 3:00 pm.
Where: Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY.
The session is open, but U.N. accreditation is required to attend. The session will also be live-streamed at http://webtv.un.org.
Prior to the session, the Deputy Secretary-General is holding a press briefing at 12:30 pm. Please contact the UN media office for details.
The UN’s new response comes in reaction to six years of advocacy by Haitian cholera victims and activists, in collaboration with the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). The advocacy has sought UN accountability for the devastating cholera epidemic introduced into Haiti in 2010 by UN peacekeepers through reckless waste management. At least 9,200 people have died and 800,000 have been sickened by cholera. In November 2011, IJDH and BAI filed claims internally with the United Nations on behalf of 5,000 cholera victims. After the UN rejected these claims as “non-receivable” in 2013, the organizations filed suit in U.S. federal court, arguing that the UN cannot be immune if it refuses to hear complaints internally. The court upheld the UN’s immunity, but the legal and non-legal advocacy, media engagement, and public campaigning have generated worldwide support for cholera justice. This network has demanded 1) a public apology; 2) compensation for families; and 3) investment in water and sanitation infrastructure to eliminate cholera from Haiti.
Interviews available: Lawyers representing cholera victims, Haitian-American lawyers and advocates, and activists in Haiti will be available for interviews following the announcement. Interviews with victims may be available, technology pending.
Public Conference Call: The legal team will also discuss their response to today’s presentation on a public conference call on Friday December 2 at 11 ET, on 712-432-1212, Access Code: 195-939