Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Will UN apology without admission of guilt be enough to move donors?

ON December 1 at a United Nations General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized for bringing cholera to Haiti. While cholera victims and advocates (including IJDH) cheered at the apology, everyone emphasized that it is not enough if the United Nations cannot mobilize the funds for the new cholera plan that Ban also outlined during the Assembly. UN human rights watchdog Philip Alston also expressed concern that the apology did not include acknowledgment of the UN’s fault in the epidemic. Will that missing piece stop UN member states from contributing to the fund for the cholera elimination plan? IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstrom expressed concern that it might. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. U.N. Chief Apologizes But Does Not Admit Soldiers Brought Cholera To Haiti Richard Knox, WBUR December 2, 2016 Six years after the deadly cholera epidemic […]

Mixed Reactions to the UN’s Cholera “Half-Apology”

After sixe years of denial of responsibility for the cholera epidemic UN peacekeepers brought to Haiti in 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized to the Haitian people in three languages. The apology, though welcomed and long-overdue, was later called a “half-apology” by a UN advisor who denounced the UN’s apparent effort to continue dodging legal responsibility. IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon also emphasized that “the use of the phrase “moral responsibility” was the same language that the UN secretary general used during his trip to Haiti in July 2014, and appeared to be calculated to address the concerns of UN lawyers more than those of the people of Haiti.” Along with the apology, Ban detailed a $400 million plan to combat cholera while noting that previous efforts have faced funding issues. UN admits for first time that peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti Ed Pilkington […]

Uncertainty over New UN Cholera Plan Results in Donors’ Hesitation

It’s been almost a month since the United Nations announced a new cholera plan that includes a package of “material assistance” for Haiti’s cholera victims. Almost no donors have committed to funding this plan. “Material assistance” sounds like the compensation that victims and advocates have been demanding, but the UN’s avoidance of the word “compensation” has created more uncertainty. The UN also has yet to claim responsibility for causing the epidemic, and time is running out for Ban Ki-moon to remove that stain from his legacy as UN Secretary-General. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Ban Ki-moon’s UN legacy clouded by cholera Samuel Oakford, IRIN November 18, 2016 Nearly a month after UN officials announced the idea of a special $400 million package to deal with cholera in Haiti, almost no donors have agreed to fund […]

How the UN Has Failed to Accept Responsibility for the Cholera Epidemic

Since the outbreak of cholera in Haiti in 2010, the UN has yet to accept legal responsibility for the epidemic, although it is widely accepted in the medical and scientific fields that the presence of UN peacekeeping forces is what caused it.  It took five years for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to admit to the UN’s moral responsibility to Haitians in light of the conflict, and Special Rapporteur Philip Alston comments on the poor legal advice that may have gotten the UN to this point. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. Cholera in Haiti: Has Poor Legal Advice Undermined Efforts to Stop the Crisis? Ana S. Ayala, O’Neill Institute November 3, 2016 With only two months left in office, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced a $400 million planto eradicate cholera in Haiti, known as the Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust […]

Philip Alston calls Haiti cholera scandal ‘the UN’s Watergate’

Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, released a scathing report to the UN on October 24, 2016. Alston argues that the clear evidence pointing to the UN’s responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti, and its subsequent refusal to admit culpability, is a scandal comparable to Watergate. Alston calls the UN’s legal position, recommended by its Office of Legal Affairs, “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible, and politically self-defeating.” Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti cholera scandal ‘the UN’s Watergate’, says body’s own human rights adviser Sam Ball, FRANCE24 October 26, 2016 (Video from original article.)   The UN’s refusal to accept responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti six years ago, leading to the deaths of more than 9,000 people, is a scandal on the same scale as Watergate, the organisation’s […]

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 […]

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