U.N. Secretary General Says Agency Has ‘Moral Responsibility’ To Assist Haitian Cholera Victims After U.S. Court Upholds U.N. Immunity In Compensation Case

Al Jazeera: U.N. admits role in deadly Haiti cholera outbreak
“The United Nations acknowledged on [August 18] that it played a role in the 2010 Haiti cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 10,000 Haitians and infected more than 770,000…” (8/19).

CNN: U.N.: We have ‘moral responsibility’ to help Haitian cholera victims
“In a major shift, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has indicated the United Nations is preparing to compensate for the cholera outbreak in Haiti that killed at least 10,000 people…” (Roth, 8/19).

Foreign Policy: U.N. Mulls Compensation for Victims of Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic
“…On [August 19], a U.N. spokesman said for the first time that the organization is mulling offering some form of compensation to victims of the disease that has sullied the reputation of the international organization and of the Nepalese peacekeepers who are believed to have introduced the disease into Haiti…” (Lynch, 8/19).

New York Times: U.S. Court Upholds United Nations’ Immunity in Cholera Suit
“A United States federal appeals panel has upheld the argument that the United Nations cannot be sued in American courts, dealing a setback in a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of thousands of cholera victims in Haiti. The ruling by the three-judge panel in New York was released on Thursday, a day after a spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged for the first time that the United Nations played a role in the outbreak, which killed thousands of people…” (Katz, 8/18).

New York Times: U.N. Admits Role in Cholera Epidemic in Haiti
“…The deputy spokesman for the secretary general, Farhan Haq, said in an email this week that ‘over the past year, the U.N. has become convinced that it needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.’ He added that a ‘new response will be presented publicly within the next two months, once it has been fully elaborated, agreed with the Haitian authorities, and discussed with member states’…” (Katz, 8/17).

NPR: U.N. Admits Role In Haiti Cholera Outbreak That Has Killed Thousands
“…A panel of experts appointed by the U.N. found that the strain of cholera that popped up in Haiti was ‘a perfect match’ for a strain found in Nepal. Nepalese peacekeepers were staying at the U.N. camp, and poor sanitation sent sewage from the camp into local waterways. In 2013, activists sued the U.N. over the cholera outbreak…” (Domonoske, 8/18).

NPR: Debate Continues Over U.N. Role In Bringing Cholera To Haiti
“…Critics of the agency say that the U.N.’s failure to take responsibility for the outbreak has been a public relations nightmare and an insult to the people of Haiti. The outbreak began in October of 2010. At that time, cholera hadn’t been reported in Haiti in more than 100 years…” (Beaubien, 8/18).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.S. judge upholds U.N. immunity in Haiti cholera case
“…In a decision late on [August 18], the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s January 2015 dismissal of a lawsuit brought by lawyers seeking compensation and a public apology for 5,000 Haitian cholera victims. ‘We have considered all of plaintiffs’ arguments on appeal and find them to be without merit,’ the U.S. appellate judges concluded…” (Moloney, 8/19).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.N. remarks on Haiti cholera a ‘groundbreaking’ step to justice, say lawyers
“Lawyers seeking compensation for Haitians killed or sickened by cholera that they blame on United Nations peacekeepers said the U.N.’s admission on Thursday of its possible involvement in the outbreak was a breakthrough in their legal battle…” (Moloney, 8/18).

U.N. News Centre: Citing U.N.’s moral responsibility, Ban pledges support to Haiti in overcoming cholera epidemic
“…Sustained efforts by national authorities and the international community have contributed to a 90 percent reduction in the number of cases since the peak in 2011. ‘However, eliminating cholera from Haiti will take the full commitment of the Haitian government and the international community and, crucially, the resources to fulfill our shared duty,’ the statement [from the secretary general’s spokesperson] explained…” (8/19).

U.N. News Centre: INTERVIEW: Funding to prevent cholera is crucial to advance development in Haiti — UNICEF’s Marc Vincent
“…Following the statement, the U.N. News Centre spoke with the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative for Haiti, Marc Vincent, for an update on the situation on the ground…” (8/19).

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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