Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Advocates Decry UN Chief’s Lack of Urgency on Haiti Cholera 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (New York and Boston): media@ijdh.org, +617-652- 0876 Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (Port-au-Prince) : nicole@ijdh.org  +509-4875-3444 NEW YORK, BOSTON May 25, 2017—Advocates for victims of the UN-caused cholera epidemic in Haiti criticized a long-awaited report by Secretary-General António Guterres as a lackluster document symptomatic of a lackluster fundraising effort for the UN’s New Approach to Cholera in Haiti.  The $400 million plan, announced in December, has generated only 3% of the contributions needed. Secretary-General Guterres’ report, delivered on Tuesday, fails to even articulate a realistic plan for raising the balance of the funds. “The report demonstrates that despite the UN’s promises, despite its cholera killing over 9,000 Haitians so far with hundreds more destined to die in 2017, responding to cholera is simply not one of the Secretary-General’s priorities,” said Brian […]

UN Lacks Credibility After Years of Failed Promises & Impunity

The UN Security Council is set to vote today on the future of the UN in Haiti and what, if anything, should replace the current peacekeeping mission. However, as the decision looms near, the UN continues its controversial legacy of injustice, exploitation and impunity in the struggling country. MINUSTAH has been heavily criticized for widespread sexual exploitation and abuse of vulnerable Haitians, which calls into question the UN’s immunity laws, its response to allegations and system for redress. Additionally, after 6 years of denying responsibility for the cholera outbreak that has killed over 10,000, the UN finally acknowledged its role in bringing the deadly disease to Haiti, but now struggles to fund its program to end cholera and compensate victims. Whatever the future might hold for the UN mission, though, one thing is certain; the UN must first right its wrongs in Haiti, or its lack […]

UN Plans to Withdraw from Haiti Following Signs of Political Stability

The international community is hailing Haiti’s recent election as a sign that it is time for the United Nations to withdraw its peacekeeping force in Haiti, MINUSTAH. Leaders are concerned, however, about the Haitian National Police (PNH) remaining apolitical after the MINUSTAH drawdown because the last time the UN withdrew from Haiti, PNH became politicized and eventually collapsed. The current Haitian administration has mentioned its interest in creating a national army but UN Secretary-General Guterres is hoping international support will help make PNH more effective and Haiti’s permanent representative approved of Guterres’ report on the topic. Part of the article is below. Read the full text here. U.N. Security Council supports replacing Haiti peacekeepers with smaller mission Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald April 11, 2017 The United Nations’ Security Council is welcoming a call by Secretary-General António Guterres to move to […]

What Does Immunity Really Mean for UN Perpetrators of Sexual Assault?

The United Nations has been heavily criticized for high incidences of rape perpetrated by peacekeepers and for its policies in response to such allegations. Despite a “zero tolerance” approach, the UN has shielded its perpetrators from consequences under immunity laws and, in a few instances, doled out punishments that are shockingly disproportionate to the crime. For example, impregnating a minor resulted in only a nine-day suspension. Many UN officials, including the Secretary-General and the the UN director of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Management, have committed the organization to end impunity, hold peacekeepers accountable and stop sexual exploitation and assault, but many are wary that the promises they have heard for decades will continue to disappoint without a critical look at the immunity laws and how far they can reach. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original […]

UN Cholera Accountability on Hold Due to Funding Struggles

Last year, as the term of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General at the time, came to an end, the United Nations finally admitted the role the UN played in Haiti’s cholera epidemic and said the UN didn’t do enough to end the epidemic. Ban Ki-moon then promised to develop a new strategy to fight cholera. This strategy still hasn’t been implemented due to an extreme lack of funding from UN member states. The new Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, is struggling to come up with new ideas of how to raise funds, which are currently at less than $10 million out of the $400 million the UN promised to Haiti. What will it take, and how long until the UN has the funds to be accountable for the epidemic it caused? Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. UN […]

UN Falls Short of Promises to Cholera Victims

The apology from former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and announcement of the “New Approach” to combat cholera in Haiti raised hopes that justice would be done in response to the horrific outbreak, which was brought to the country by Nepalese peacekeepers. However, the reality sends quite a different message; the UN has raised only a fraction of the promised, and necessary, funds. Current political contexts deemphasizing foreign aid, uncertainty over effective UN policies and donor fatigue have contributed to the fundraising failure. However, the time is past for excuses, and those affected by the deadly outbreak deserve more than empty promises from the UN. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Click HERE to read IJDH and BAI’s letter to the UN Secretary-General. After Bringing Cholera to Haiti, U.N. Can’t Raise Money to Fight It Rick Gladstone, New York Times March 19, 2017 […]

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