Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Nobel Peace Laureates Urge the U.N. to Keep its Promises

Five Nobel Peace Laureates called on the United Nations (U.N.) to keep the promises it made to cholera victims not even a year ago. They urge the members of U.N. Security Council to make reparations to Haitian people a priority during their three-day visit to Haiti this week. Such gestures, according to them, will not only comfort Haiti, but also restore the U.N.’s credibility by showing its determination to correct its wrongs. IJDH has  launched a campaign to urge

IJDH has launched a campaign to urge the U.N. member states to donate to the $400 million cholera fund promised by the U.N. Click HERE for the campaign website.

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The U.N. owes Haiti relief from cholera epidemic it introduced

A boy receives the second dose of the vaccine against cholera in Saut d'Eau, in the Central Plateau of Haiti, part of the United Nations’ its second phase of a vaccination campaign.

By Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and Betty Williams, Op-ed, Miami Herald

June 21, 2017

Seven years after its soldiers sparked the world’s worst cholera epidemic in Haiti, the United Nations is finally preparing to close its MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission there. As Nobel Peace laureates committed to the U.N.’s ideal of universal human rights, we are deeply concerned that the victims of MINUSTAH’s catastrophic actions remain without justice and reparations, despite U.N. promises to repair the harm it has caused.

As the Security Council visits Haiti this week to wind up the mission, it must ensure that the U.N. settles its debt to the Haitian people before MINUSTAH leaves — for their sake, but also for the sake of the United Nations itself, whose legacy in Haiti risks being defined by scandal, and whose credibility and very ideals are on the line.

When MINUSTAH soldiers discharged contaminated waste into the Artibonite River in 2010, sparking a massive cholera outbreak, the U.N. denied its role in the tragedy, in defiance of overwhelming evidence and the organization’s own obligations.

The U.N.’s denial was an affront to justice — and a betrayal not only of the Haitian people it was purportedly there to serve, but of all the peoples worldwide who constitute the United Nations and hope to see it fulfill its highest ideals. While the U.N. ignored cholera’s victims, at least 10,000 Haitians died from the disease (though the U.N. has reported that the number may be three times as high). Today, cholera continues to wreak havoc on the people of Haiti, and the crisis has weakened the organization’s credibility as a human rights defender.

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