Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

After Half-Apology for Cholera, UN Still Has Much to Do Towards Justice

Mennonite Central Committee, one of IJDH’s partners in the fight for cholera justice, describes some of the steps that led to then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s apology to the Haitian people on December 1, 2016. Although such an admission was unprecedented in UN history, it still only represented a half-apology, as Ban failed to mention the UN’s responsibility for bringing the cholera epidemic to Haiti in 2010. The UN also has yet to make good on the new cholera plan that Ban announced the same day as the apology. As Ban himself said that day, “words cannot replace action and material support.”

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

U.N. Witness: Half an apology

Kati Garrison, Mennonite World Review

March 13, 2017

On Dec. 1, the staff of the Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Office awaited the commencement of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s address to the people of Haiti. After more than six years of advocacy efforts, we eagerly anticipated an apology for bringing cholera to the region.

In October 2010, only nine months after an earthquake devastated the capitol area of Haiti, a cholera outbreak hit the country. Since then, this disease, which formerly had no record in Haiti, has killed more than 9,300 Haitians and sickened more than 753,000.

A panel of experts reported that cholera emerged from bacterial contamination of the Meye Tributary System near the base of U.N. peacekeepers who “routinely disposed of untreated fecal waste in unprotected, open air pits . . . that caused a serious risk of overflow.”

Over the past six years, the MCC U.N. office has called for justice for Haiti’s cholera victims. Direct communication with MCC staff in Haiti guided these endeavors. Through collaboration with strong partners, such as the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, we have pursued multiple avenues to a comprehensive response.

Click HERE for the full text.

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