U.N. Secretary General Must Take Responsibility For, Act To Mitigate Haitian Cholera Outbreak

The Lancet: Dear Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Editorial Board

“…We applaud the considerable work that the U.N. has done since 2010 to improve hygiene standards for peacekeepers and support immunization campaigns. But we are distressed by reports that less than 20 percent of the funds pledged by the U.N. after the [Haitian] outbreak to eradicate cholera have been raised. … Calls for you to do more are intensifying. … Failing to accept the U.N.’s responsibilities sets a poor example for the Haitian government to assume theirs … Your own human rights advisers have implored you to respond. Instead, the U.N. continues to say it is immune from these claims. … The U.N. has enormous power to act. But its power to ignore is what prevails here. We hope you can address this issue. Please endorse the facts. Please acknowledge the injustice. Please apologize for the indifference. Responsibility is not about vengeance, but about accountability from which needed reparation and reconciliation can flow. The U.N. has long emphasized the need for accountability — we urge you to make this a final act in your celebrated career as secretary general” (6/11).