U.N. Must Accept Legal Responsibility, Issue Apology For Haitian Cholera Outbreak, U.N. Human Rights Rapporteur Says In Report

Agence France-Presse: U.N. refusal to recognize role in Haiti cholera a ‘debacle’: expert
“The United Nations’ refusal to admit full responsibility for the years-long cholera epidemic that has claimed more than 9,000 lives in Haiti is a debacle that it has a duty to correct, a U.N. expert said Tuesday…” (10/25).

Agence France-Presse/France 24: Haiti cholera scandal ‘the U.N.’s Watergate,’ says body’s own human rights adviser
“…The comparison was made by Philip Alston, professor of law at NYU and the United Nation’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, who labelled the U.N.’s ‘explicit and unqualified denial’ of being behind the outbreak ‘a disgrace’ in a scathing report presented to the intergovernmental body on Tuesday…” (Ball/Le Masurier, 10/26).

Foreign Policy: Human Rights Expert to U.N. Chief: It’s Not Too Late to Say Sorry to Haitians for Cholera
“…In order to restore the U.N.’s reputation as the world’s chief defender of human rights, [Alston] said, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must accept full legal responsibility for the introduction of cholera into Haiti by U.N. peacekeepers and issue an unqualified apology to the Haitian people…” (Lynch, 10/25).

The Guardian: U.N.’s own expert calls its actions over Haiti cholera outbreak ‘a disgrace’
“…[Alston] said that flawed and unfounded legal advice provided by the U.N. lawyers was preventing it from accepting responsibility for the outbreak…” (Quinn, 10/25).

NPR: Linked To Haiti Cholera Outbreak, U.N. Considers Paying Millions In Compensation
“…The U.N. is currently hashing out a plan that could spend nearly half a billion dollars to address cholera in Haiti. The plan includes compensating Haitians who were ‘most affected’ by the outbreak. This may include direct payments to Haitians who got sick or lost a family member to the disease…” (Beaubien, 10/25).

Reuters: U.N. legal stance on Haiti cholera likely pushed by U.S.: expert
“… ‘There is reason to believe that the position adopted by (the U.N. Office for Legal Affairs) in 2013 was consistent with views strongly pressed at the time by the United States,’ said Alston, noting that the United States has a strong interest in the issue as a close neighbor of Haiti and the largest contributor to the U.N. peacekeeping budget. He said the United States seemed to believe that the United Nations ‘must follow American legal practice, which generally takes the view that legal responsibility should never be accepted when it can possibly be avoided because one never knows the consequences for subsequent litigation.’ The U.S. mission to the United Nations was not immediately available to comment on Alston’s remarks…” (Nichols, 10/25).

U.N. News Centre: ‘We have to do the right thing,’ deputy U.N. chief says on intensified response to cholera outbreak in Haiti
“Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson [Tuesday] urged the international community to show solidarity with the Haitian people as they struggle to cope with the impact of Hurricane Matthew and an ongoing cholera epidemic, particularly through financial support for the new United Nations system-wide approach to tackle the spread of the disease…” (10/25).

VOA News: U.N. Criticized for Failure to Admit Legal Role in Haiti Cholera Outbreak
“… ‘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,’ Alston wrote in a report to the General Assembly…” (10/25).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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