Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN Denial of Cholera Responsibility Assisted by US, Says Alston

In a report issued on the UN’s responsibility regarding the Haiti cholera epidemic, Special Rapporteur and human rights expert Philip Alston condemns both the UN’s inaction in regards to the spread of disease, as well as the US’s involvement in the UN’s unwillingness to accept accountability. Haiti cholera scandal: US bolsters UN wall of denial, legal investigator says George Russell, Fox News October 26, 2016 The United Nations’ wall of denial about its responsibility for causing Haiti’s 6-year-old cholera epidemic is stronger than ever — and a U.N. human rights expert  has put the focus directly on  the Obama administration for helping to keep the barrier in place. Philip Alston, a New York University law professor, who is currently the U.N. special rapporteur on poverty and human rights, issued a final report on the cholera crisis on Tuesday that sharply […]

Not Too Late for UN to Apologize to Haiti for Cholera

Special Rapporteur Philip Alston has released a report condemning the UN for their inaction in the cholera crisis in Haiti.  The admittance by the UN of their involvement in the origins of the epidemic is important, but Alston states that there is still a long road ahead in the UN righting their wrong. Part of the article is below.  Click HERE for the full article. Human Rights Expert to UN Chief: It’s Not Too Late to Say Sorry to Haitians for Cholera Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy October 25, 2016 About two months ago, the United Nations ended years of denial about the role of U.N. peacekeepers in causing Haiti’s 2010 cholera epidemic,acknowledging for the first time that blue helmets had a hand in it. But the U.N. has yet to issue an apology or to accept legal responsibility for those actions, instead […]

Statement and Question on Haiti Cholera from Jamaican Ambassador

UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston, who criticized the UN cholera response as “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating,” presented to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly today. There was time for UN member states to make statements and ask him questions. Below are the statement and question from Jamaican Ambassador Rattray. Intervention by Jamaica in the interactive dialogue between the Third Committee and the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty 25 October 2016 Mr. Vice-Chair, My delegation thanks the special rapporteur for his presentation today. We have read with keen interest his groundbreaking report on the situation surrounding the introduction and outbreak of cholera in Haiti. The report gives us hope. It renews in us a confidence that the calamitous situation in Haiti and the UN’s denial of responsibility has not gone unnoticed. Countless lives were […]

Hurricane Matthew: An Unnatural Disaster

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Haiti has experienced vast amounts of devastation.  However, the disaster that has unfolded is not natural – it has been propagated by decades of marginalization of the Haitian people, and their constant struggle to rise above the economic, social, and political barriers that plague them. Part of the article is below.  Click HERE to read the full article. Chronicle of a disaster foretold Laura Wagner, Medium – Duke University October 24, 2016 On Monday, October 3, my friend Claudine St. Fleur’s father was supposed to send her provisions from Degerme, their home community in the mountains above Abricots, a town on the far southwest coast of Haiti, west of the larger town of Jérémie. He grows yams, plantains and breadfruit in the fertile red earth abutting their lakou, the traditional Haitian family homestead, and catches fish […]

Can a Change in UN Image Bring Back Trust?

The United Nations’ presence on the world stage is becoming increasingly negative in light of recent scandals, such as the cholera epidemic in Haiti.  There’s been an effort on the part of the UN to change their image, but there must be reform for the UN to fully accept responsibility and right their wrongs. Part of the article is below.  Click HERE for the full article. Can a UN image campaign create greater trust? Claudia Witte, Deutsche Welle October 24, 2016 Amid ongoing conflicts, catastrophe and an escalating refugee crisis, the United Nations’ reputation is faltering. Can an image campaign create more trust in the organization? At the Palais des Nations in Geneva, the second-largest seat of the United Nations after New York, a group of tourists follows the tour guide as she walks through the extensive building. The autumn session of the […]

History of Interventions & Exploitation Against Haiti

Hurricane Matthew’s devastation in Haiti is amplified by several remnants of colonial relations, military interventions by Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt, and now today by “poorly implemented aid projects.” Law Street Media traces the history of economic exploitation of Haiti by France and Spain, and demonstrates the progression of “disappointments” by the United States and the United Nations: the U.S. continuing economic exploitation, and the UN continuing to deny responsibility for the increasing spread of cholera. Law Street cites IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstrom: “The need for a new UN response that both controls and eliminates cholera and compensates the victims who have suffered so much is now more dire than ever.” Using history and recent examples of exploitation, the article concludes: “Haiti will continue to be plagued with problems if the impoverished country is unable to properly recover from disease outbreaks like this, as well […]

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