Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Can apology without admitting fault clear Ban Ki-moon’s legacy?

On December 1,before the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized for the UN’s role in the cholera epidemic in Haiti. It was a major moment and much-needed in an effort to salvage Ban’s legacy before he (likely) goes on to run for president of his home South Korea. But the carefully-worded apology didn’t include an acknowledgment of the UN’s fault in the epidemic. A current and a former UN official say that without that, it will be very difficult for the UN to raise funds to support cholera elimination and Ban’s legacy may not be saved after all. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. With an Eye on South Korea’s Presidency, Ban Ki-moon Seeks to Burnish his U.N. Legacy Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy December 28, 2016 On Jan. 15, 2016, Australian lawyer Philip […]

Déclaration du Rapporteur spécial Philip Alston sur la responsabilité de l’Onu pour le choléra

Dans une déclaration devant la 71ème session de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies, Philip Alston, rapporteur spécial sur les droits de l’homme et l’extrême pauvreté, a demandé aux Nations Unies de à repenser les conseils juridiques imparfaits qu’elle a reçus de son Bureau des affaires juridiques concernant les revendications légales pour l’épidémie de choléra. Alston exhorte également les États Membres de l’ONU à soutenir leurs paroles de sympathie pour les victimes du choléra d’Haïti en donnant généreusement au Fonds fiduciaire récemment créé pour aider matériellement les Haïtiens et à intensifier les efforts pour éliminer la maladie. Sa déclaration inclut même des félicitations à BAI et IJDH pour maintenir la lutte pour la justice de choléra! Click HERE for the English version of the statement. Philip Alston (Rapporteur spécial sur les droits de l’homme et l’extrême pauvreté), Troisième Commission, 29e séance – 71e session UN Web […]

Philip Alston statement on UN responsibility for cholera in Haiti

In a statement in front of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, Philip Alston, special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, called on the UN to revisit the flawed legal advice it received in 2013 from its Office of Legal Affairs on how to deal with incoming claims of legal responsibility for the cholera outbreak. Alston also calls on UN Member States to back up their words of sympathy for Haiti’s cholera victims by generously donating to a recently-established Trust Fund purposed for materially assisting Haitians and for intensifying efforts to eliminate the disease. His statement even includes a shout out to BAI and IJDH for keeping up the fight for cholera justice! An excerpt from the statement is posted below. Click HERE for the full statement. Cliquez ICI pour la version française (vidéo). Statement by Professor Philip […]

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 […]

UN Special Rapporteur Demands Just Response to Cholera Victims

In an August 2016 report to the United Nations General Assembly, Special Rapporteur Philip Alston criticized the UN’s response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti as “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating. It is also entirely unnecessary.” When the UN later announced that it would soon release a new plan for eliminating cholera from Haiti, Alston wrote a letter to follow up, commending the UN for the new approach but also suggesting ways to make sure it was truly just. The Deputy Secretary-General wrote back the following week with further details on the new plan, including “a package of material assistance and support to Haitians most directly affected by cholera.” Parts of both letters are included below. Special Rapporteur Alston also spoke at the United Nations General Assembly regarding cholera on October 25. He again emphasized the importance of a just response. […]

UN human rights expert: “UN lawyers undermine a just solution for the victims of cholera in Haiti”

UN human rights expert: “UN lawyers undermine a just solution for the victims of cholera in Haiti” NEW YORK (25 October 2016) – United Nations human rights expert Philip Alston claimed today that flawed and unfounded legal advice provided by the UN lawyers is preventing the Organization from accepting responsibility for the cholera outbreak that UN peacekeepers caused in Haiti in 2010. “The UN’s explicit and unqualified denial of anything other than a moral responsibility is a disgrace,” Alston said today. “If the United Nations bluntly refuses to hold itself accountable for human rights violations, it makes a mockery of its efforts to hold Governments and others to account,” he noted. Cholera was brought to Haiti for the first time in the country’s history by UN peacekeepers exactly six years ago. Almost 10,000 people have died as a result and […]

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