Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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 Credibility at Risk with Lack of Promised Action Against Cholera

On December 1, 2016 when UN Secretary-General at the time, Ban Ki-moon, announced a new approach to cholera in Haiti, victims and advocates rejoiced at the UN finally taking a step towards the justice that had been denied for six years. Of the $400 million promised that day though, only $2.7 million has been received and $10 million total including pledged contributions. It seems that the new Secretary General, António Guterres is also leaning towards not asking for assessed contributions from UN member states despite their inaction in funding this plan. After six years of denial and dodging accountability for cholera, a failure to follow through on this new plan would do irreparable damage to the UN and its role in promoting human rights all over the world. Part of the article is below. Read the full article here. Will State […]

Secretary-General Guterres Must Ensure the UN’s Moral Debt to Haiti is Paid

In December 2016, after six years of trying to avoid blame for the cholera epidemic it brought to Haiti in 2010, the United Nations apologized for its role and announced a $00 million New Approach to dealing with cholera. Months later, the fund has only raised about $2 million – from voluntary contributions from South Korea, France Chile, India and Liechtenstein. It is now up to a new Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to make sure the New Approach continues.  He “needs to use every bit of skill and good will to compel and cajole member nations and philanthropies to make the cholera campaign succeed — and with it, to settle the United Nations’ moral debt to Haiti.” Part of the editorial is below. Click HERE for the full text. U.N. Accepts Blame but Dodges the Bill in Haiti Editorial Board, The […]

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 […]

Advocacy helped win cholera justice, but more needs to be done

This article outlines the cholera epidemic in Haiti in terms of the advocacy around justice for the victims and our accompanying lawsuit in U.S. courts. After years of downplaying its responsibility for causing the epidemic and dodging accountability, then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized to Haitians on December 1, 2016. The UN also promised a new $400 million plan to address the epidemic and provide material assistance to the victims but more remains to be done: The money needs to truly be made available while consultations with the victims occur to ensure that their needs are finally met. The UN must take better precautions to ensure that something similar doesn’t happen again in the future. And the UN must accept legal responsibility for the epidemic, as a means to ensure that justice will finally be served. Part of the article is […]

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