Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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Updated: 2 hours 43 min ago

Questions of Fraud in Haiti’s November 20 Elections

5 hours 51 min ago

Reports of problems on Haiti’s election fay continue to surface, calling into question the legitimacy of the preliminary results that named Jovenel Moise, protégé of former president Martelly, as the new president. The problems include many voters not finding their names on the lists, voters being told to go even 147 miles from their homes to vote, ballots for other candidates found in the streets, and a nationwide blackout after the polls closed. Thousands of Haitians have been protesting in the streets and the three candidates named second, third and fourth have officially contested the preliminary election results. Three members of the 9-member Electoral Council also refused to sign off on the preliminary results.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections

Pierre Labossiere and Margaret Prescod, Counterpunch

December 9, 2016

Lead Up to Election Day

Friday, November 18th was the last day of campaigning for Haiti’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections which were to be held on Sunday, November 20th.  On Friday we visited Delmas 2 where we met with activists on the ground including women and men.  Preparations were underway for the get-out-the vote campaign.  In Delmas 2 there were banners and other materials for the Lavalas Presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse.  Several people expressed to us the widespread concern that the election maybe stolen, nevertheless the people we spoke to felt it was nevertheless important to vote.

Later on Friday, we visited Cite Soleil where a massive march was taking place.  The March preceded and followed a motorcade with former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide and Dr. Maryse Narcisse.  Tens of thousands took part in the march.  The atmosphere was festive with music and dancing. The mood in the crowd was determined, although some we spoke to also expressed concerns about a stolen election, people generally seemed enthusiastic about voting.  A popular song poking fun at Jovenal Moise the candidate endorsed by former President Michel Martelly entitled “Banann” was often played and all seemed to know the words and sang along.

Early that evening there was a massive Lavalas rally at the old airfield in Delmas 2.  The crowd grew to tens of thousands. There was a notable lack of western media present at that rally.  The mood was joyful and enthusiastic, many there said, including some of the speakers, that if the election was not fraudulent, Dr. Narcisse would win on the first round.


Click HERE for the full text.

Center for Economic & Policy Research Seeks a Research Assistant

9 hours 21 min ago


The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people’s lives. CEPR conducts both professional research and public education so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options. The professional research is oriented towards filling important gaps in the understanding of particular economic and social problems, or the impact of specific policies, both domestically and globally. The public education portion of CEPR’s mission is to present the findings of professional research, both by CEPR and others, in a manner that allows broad segments of the public to know exactly what is at stake in major policy debates. As part of its public education initiative, CEPR utilizes research findings and analysis to challenge the myths, assumptions, policies and institutions that perpetuate economic and social inequality.


CEPR has an immediate opening for a full-time Research Assistant (International). The focus of this work will be international economic policy issues. Responsibilities include collection and analysis of data, preparation of charts and graphs, research literature and summarization of relevant background material. This position will include original research with original data sources and writing or cowriting research papers. This position has designated funding for two years, after which point it may be extended.

Successful candidates will possess a B.A. or B.S. in economics or related field, with working knowledge of statistics and international economics; several months of experience as a research assistant or performing similar work; knowledge of Microsoft Office, spreadsheets, and graphics software. Spanish language skills are not required but would be very useful.


January 9, 2017. In rare, extenuating circumstances, the application period may be extended or curtailed. In the event that the application period is curtailed, CEPR will update this posting to notify candidates that they have 7 days to apply. Send application packet to jobscepr2016[at] and include: Cover letter with salary requirement, Resume, Recent writing sample showing your analytic and research skills.

No telephone calls or faxes please.



Click HERE for the full job posting.

Ban Ki-moon’s “half apology” to Haiti

December 8, 2016 - 11:49

Following the UN Secretary General’s apology to Haiti on December 1st, there have been many critiques of what is being dubbed Ban Ki-moon’s “incomplete apology.” Many condemn the UN’s continued refusal to admit legal responsibility for the introduction of cholera into Haiti, and many more are openly challenging the UN to show its commitment to Haiti by quickly and effectively raising the necessary money for Ban’s plan.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

The UN’s Incomplete Apology To Haiti

Kim Ives, Haiti Liberte

December 8, 2016

The United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City. (Photo from original article)


United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who will step down at the end of this month, made his most explicit apology yet for the UN’s role and responsibility in Haiti’s cholera epidemic, the world’s worst.

However, in his ballyhooed Dec. 1 address to the UN General Assembly, Ban stopped short of admitting that UN soldiers militarily occupying Haiti since 2004 introduced the deadly bacterial disease into the country in 2010…


Click HERE for the full article.

Fluent French Speakers Needed for Victim Empowerment Project

December 7, 2016 - 09:28

Dear Friend,

IJDH is seeking fluent French speakers to contribute to a time sensitive, critical opportunity to empower victims of cholera to assert their right to remedies.

Last week, the UN launched a new response to cholera in Haiti, which includes a commitment to consulting with victims during the elaboration of the new plan. BAI is working rapidly to roll out a series of training sessions with victims groups on the new plan and the right to reparations. These trainings aim to empower victims to engage meaningfully and assert their rights in the forthcoming consultation process.

To prepare for these training sessions, we’d like to share with trainers a report that was prepared by Carla Ferstman at REDRESS and discusses the right to reparation in the context of the cholera epidemic with the colleagues who will be leading the trainings. This report will be a critical tool for the trainers to be able to pass on key information to victims about their rights.

The report is in English, and needs to be translated into French. We are seeking volunteers who can translate 5 pages each of the report by the end of the day Sunday, December 11. Since accuracy will be vitally important in this effort, we kindly seek volunteers who are:

– Fluent French speakers

– Have a legal or human rights background

– Can firmly commit to meeting the deadline of Sunday, December 11.

If you are available to help out with this important project, please contact ASAP.

Please also forward this to anyone in your network who might be able to pitch in.


Beatrice Lindstrom


Staff Attorney


Update on Cholera, Hurricane Matthew and Elections from Brian Concannon

December 6, 2016 - 12:29

This comprehensive interview with IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon covers cholera, Hurricane Matthew and elections in Haiti. Last week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized for the cholera epidemic. Concannon calls this “a very good step in the right direction.” Next, the UN has to make sure that funders really do step up and make the cholera plan happen.

Haiti is also still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The government is doing more than it did after the 2010 earthquake and the UN put out a Flash Appeal for funding but not enough has come in. After two months, there’s a major risk of famine and people are still in tents.

Though a new president for Haiti has finally been named, many issues remain and the results are being contested by other candidates, and people protesting in the streets. On election day, many people were unable to find their names on ballots and afterwards, many ballots were found in places they shouldn’t be. These are just some of the issues.

Watch the interview below.

UN Admits Fault in Cholera Outbreak as Country Faces Prospect of Famine

The Real News

December 6, 2016

Click HERE for the original link.


No ordinary triumph for Haiti

December 5, 2016 - 13:59

Dear Friend,

This is no ordinary triumph. This is historic.

This is the moment that the Irish poet Seamus Heaney foretold as the rising up of that “once in a lifetime…longed-for tidal wave of justice,” when “hope and history rhyme.”

When the leader of 193 nations apologized on December 1 from his grand carpeted chamber at the UN to millions of Haitians, many with dirt floors, the poles of power began to shift. The earth shuddered a “great sea-change on the far side of revenge.” 

It didn’t come about without hope. It also didn’t materialize without your unfailing support.

And it would not have been possible without a scrappy band of Haitian and international lawyers, interns, and their allies at the Bureau de Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port au Prince and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) working from a church basement in Boston. (To read in the Miami Herald about their role in the UN’s apology, see here.)

It didn’t happen without IJDH’s careful weaving together of a vast network of victims, human rights organizations and outraged US and UN officials demanding the United Nations fess up and fund up. But the pressure cannot stop now.

We all must be relentless to ensure the UN raises and deploys adequate funds to remedy the epidemic of cholera. After all, their peacekeeping troops introduced the deadly disease to Haiti’s water supply due to gross negligence — and then let it fester due to calculated avoidance.

Honestly, I must admit that I wasn’t sure I would ever see this moment. In 2014 when Al Kaneb and I, both IJDH Advisory Board members, met with the UN official appointed to handle this mess, he told us there was no effective leverage the UN could use over its member states to force them to remedy the situation. There was no bucket of money from which to draw for installing clean water and sanitation systems throughout Haiti, or for compensating the families of dead cholera victims. “No way,” he said.

IJDH – and YOU – have pushed them to find a way. But the remedies won’t be funded without your ongoing support.

When I enter the dusty, windowless basement offices of IJDH, where staff and volunteers toil from donated study carrels, or when I visit the crammed and sweltering office rooms of the BAI in Port au Prince, I am incredulous that these indefatigable advocates have moved leaders in the marbled halls of power. They have made me a believer in the way that Seamus Heaney proclaimed:

“Believe that further shore is reachable from here. Believe in miracle and cures and healing wells.”

With your most generous contribution, we will secure a miracle, disseminate a cure, and build clean water systems for all the people of Haiti. Together, we will make history.

And that means, in Heaney’s words, “That someone is hearing the outcry and the birth-cry of new life at its term.” This is the moment for new life in Haiti.

With gratitude and in awe,

Karen Keating Ansara


IJDH Advisory Board Member

P.S. Read Seamus Heaney’s poem in full here.

P.P.S. Help IJDH make history here.

UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s editorial in the Miami Herald

December 5, 2016 - 13:10

In the editorial below, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, addresses the readers in a similar fashion as in his apology on December 1, 2016. He explains the purpose and possible structure of the UN’s two track initiative in Haiti, and expresses his remorse over the UN’s role in the epidemic.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Righting a wrong in Haiti

Ban Ki-moon, Miami Herald

December 5, 2016


Last week, I addressed the U.N. General Assembly to outline a new approach to tackle cholera in Haiti — a disease that has afflicted nearly 800,000 people and claimed the lives of more than 9,000 Haitians over the last six years.

This tragedy has cast a shadow upon the relationship between the U.N. and the people of Haiti. It is a blemish on the reputation of U.N. peacekeeping and the organization world-wide.

BAN KI-MOON UN (Photo from original article)

I began my speech to the General Assembly with a message to the Haitian people:

The United Nations deeply regrets the loss of life and suffering caused by the cholera outbreak in Haiti. We apologize. The U.N. simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti. We are profoundly sorry for our role…


Click HERE for the full article.

Looking at UN responsibility to repair the damage caused by cholera

December 5, 2016 - 12:58

This editorial discusses the necessary measures the UN must take to once and for all eradicate the disease it introduced into Haiti in 2010. Looking to 2017, António Guterres, the incoming UN Secretary General as of January 1, will have to take immediate and decisive action to build on the momentum now generated from current UNSG, Ban Ki-moon’s apology.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Make Haiti whole: The UN’s responsibility to repair the damage it unleashed when it imported cholera to the impoverished country

NY Daily News

December 5, 2016

UN-acceptable (Photo from original article)


The United Nations is finally coming to terms with its moral responsibility for suffering and death it imported to Haiti.

Up next, and urgently: a practical reckoning to undo the damage done.

Six years ago, as the impoverished nation struggled to rebuild from a devastating earthquake, UN peacekeepers from Nepal introduced cholera there, by dumping human waste into a waterway…


Click HERE for the full article.

Activists Force UN to Apologize for Cholera

December 5, 2016 - 06:32

Activists in Haiti and Boston won a victory when outgoing United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued an apology. In Boston, Charlot Lucien and others collected signatures to deliver to the UN, and others demonstrated at UN headquarters.

Executive Director Brian Concannon said BAI’s office in Haiti applauded Ki-moon’s apology, “the sincerity was enough to trump the fact that [the apology] was limited.”

Concannon and Haitian activists will continue to keep the UN accountable for its new water and sanitation initiative, which “needs to be fully funded and well executed.”

The Boston Globe staff writer Adrian Walker advocates compensation for Haitian victims’ families. Read the original article HERE.

Cholera activists force an apology the UN didn’t want to issue

by Adrian Walker, Boston Globe

December 5th, 2016

Charlot Lucien has been trying to get the United Nations to apologize for years.

Like a lot of people in Boston’s Haitian community, and in the vast diaspora beyond it, he believes that the international organization owes Haiti an apology — at the very least — for introducing cholera to the country in the wake of the 2010 earthquake that rocked the island.

Last week, his hopes were partially answered. Outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued an apology for the effects of the disaster, and outlined a plan to address the misery it has caused. The UN is committed, he said, to raising funds to improve the water supply and sanitation, and to compensate the families of the deceased. Those actions could cost an estimated $400 million, most of which has yet to be raised.

Cholera was introduced to Haiti by a peacekeeping force from Nepal that was sent there after the quake. It’s been a medical and humanitarian disaster. Officially, the cholera epidemic has claimed close to 10,000 lives, but many knowledgeable observers believe the true toll is far higher than that.

In now acknowledging its role, the UN yielded to four years of constant pressure. It has faced lawsuits, protests, and petitions. The pressure was international, but no small part of it came from Boston, where dedicated human rights lawyers joined forces with local activists to explore novel ways to push the UN into action.

Lucien’s activities included collecting signatures on Blue Hill Avenue during a Haitian Unity parade to deliver to the UN. Other activists here have demonstrated at United Nations headquarters. The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, a Boston-based human rights organization, sued the United Nations on behalf of the victims, challenging its sweeping legal immunity. Their suits were vital in bringing the issue to the public’s consciousness.

Ban apologized for the effects of the epidemic but stopped short of admitting that the UN caused it in the first place. That struck some observers as half-hearted, but it was cheered by Haitians themselves as a sincere expression of contrition.

“When we talked to Haitians who went to New York to watch it and talked to our office in Haiti, [they said] the victims spontaneously broke into applause,” said Brian Concannon, the executive director of IJDH, the human rights group. “The Haitians picked up that he really was sorry. And the sincerity was enough to trump the fact that [the apology] was limited.”

Concannon noted that many details in the new water and sanitation initiative are yet to be determined. “It’s an enormous step forward, and an abrupt change of direction,” he said, but noted that promises alone won’t save lives. “It needs to be fully funded and well executed.”

The most obvious issue is simply getting member states to contribute. Concannon said the UN has raised much of the $200 million it says it will contribute to cleaning up the water supply and improving sanitation, to finally arrest the spread of the disease.

But the UN also has to find a way to lend assistance to the families who lost relatives to cholera. It isn’t yet clear whether victims will receive some form of restitution. I think they should.

For now, it’s a victory that sustained public pressure has forced one of the world’s most powerful institutions to own up to a tragic mistake. The advocates who took up the issue were scorned at first. Not only was the UN immune to being sued, it seemed immune to public opinion as well. No more.


Click HERE for the original article.

Representative Clarke Welcomes UN Apology for Haiti Cholera

December 3, 2016 - 12:10

Caribbean-American congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY), has issued a statement accepting and celebrating Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s apology to the Haitian people for the cholera epidemic that has plagued Haiti since 2010.  She now calls on the UN to fulfill their responsibility to the Haitian people.

Part of the article is below.  Click HERE for the full text.

Congresswoman hails UN apology for cholera epidemic in Haiti

Jamaica Observer

December 3, 2016

NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — Caribbean American congresswoman Yvette D Clarke has welcomed the United Nations apology to the Haitian people over the cholera outbreak in the French-speaking Caribbean country.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued the apology earlier this week for the cholera epidemic that has killed more than 10,000 people in Haiti.

“Although the secretary general refused to explicitly admit fault for introducing cholera to Haiti, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty has clearly stated that cholera was introduced to Haiti by United Nations aid workers,” said Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants.

The representative for the predominantly Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn said she agreed with the preponderance of scientific evidence that supports this conclusion.

Click HERE for the full text.

A Long-Awaited UN Apology to Haiti for Cholera

December 2, 2016 - 12:02

In a speech last Thursday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a long-overdue apology to the Haitian people for the cholera epidemic that has plagued the country following the 2010 earthquake.  While the apology is a success, it stops short of acknowledging that UN peacekeepers started the epidemic, and much is yet to be done in regards to eradicating the disease.

UN apologizes for Haiti cholera spread in plan to eradicate disease

Emanuella Grinberg and Richard Roth, CNN

December 2, 2016

(CNN) The United Nations did not do enough to prevent the spread of cholera epidemic in Haiti that killed at least 10,000 people after the 2010 earthquake, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday, in what critics saw as an overdue apology.

The UN has long denied claims that Nepalese peacekeepers brought cholera to the island nine months after the devastating earthquake, the first known appearance of the disease there in over 150 years. Scientists, victims’ families and advocacy groups accused peacekeepers of spreading cholera through improper sanitation disposal at their base near a river.With a month left in his term, Ban issued the carefully worded apology as part of an announcement of a new plan to eradicate the disease.“On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: We apologize to the Haitian people,” Ban told the UN General Assembly. “We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti.As he spoke the apology in French, Creole and English, he acknowledged both the outbreak’s human toll and its damage to the UN’s standing in Haiti and beyond.“This has cast a shadow upon the relationship between the United Nations and the people of Haiti. It is a blemish on the reputation of UN peacekeeping and the Organization worldwide.”For many, though, the apology was too little, too late, focused on the UN’s response and stopping short of accepting full responsibility.And, it remains to be seen whether members states will pledge sufficient financial support in the form of what Ban called “voluntary contributions.”“For the sake of the Haitian people, but also for the sake of the United Nations itself, we have a moral responsibility to act. And we have a collective responsibility to deliver,” he said.‘We cannot turn away’Cholera is an acute gastrointestinal illness caused by ingesting food or drink contaminated with Vibrio cholerae bacteria. It can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting, which leads to extreme dehydration. Patients who are not treated quickly to restore lost fluids can die within hours.Cholera threatening Haiti in wake of Hurricane Matthew 02:22The outbreak hampered efforts to rebuild Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake, and Hurricane Matthew this year only worsened matters. The World Health Organization sent 1 million cholera vaccine doses to Haiti in October amid concerns over the rising number of cases in the hurricane’s aftermath.It also did extensive damage to the UN’s standing as criticism mounted over its failure to contain the initial outbreak. Ban’s denial of responsibility further undermined the organization’s credibility, special investigators said this year.Haitian cholera victims watched a live webstream of the briefing, clapping and cheering as Ban apologized, according to US-based Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti. They welcomed the apology, but said actions were necessary to complement his words.“This was a victory for us today. It wasn’t easy. We sent thousands of letters and were in the street to get this victory for them to say today that they were responsible. They said that and we thank them,” said cholera patient Desir Jean-Clair.“But it can’t end there. Because today there is still cholera in all the country. I got cholera. My mother died from cholera, too. This battle hasn’t finished. And they can’t just talk about this doing this in 2017; this is urgent. They need to say how much money the are giving to each person and exactly how they will eliminate cholera. Our children died, our wives died.”What the plan entailsThe General Assembly will have to approve hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial payments for Ban’s two-pronged approach to take flight.Track One of the plan focuses on responding and reducing the incident of cholera through better access to health care and improved water and sanitation systems. Track Two focuses on community projects and initiatives to alleviate the disease’s impact through education grants and micro-finance, for example.Moon called on member states for voluntary contributions to supplement funding from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.“We cannot turn away from the task until the job is done. I count on all of you to see this effort through — to continue and increase your support until cholera is defeated,” he said. “Without your political will and financial support, we have only good intentions and words.”An apology ‘years overdue’The UN acknowledged its involvement in the outbreak in August, indicating an apology was on its way. But Thursday’s message stops short of acknowledging that it caused the epidemic.US diplomat Isobel Coleman welcomed the apology as a “meaningful symbol of atonement” that helped restore the UN’s credibility. She called for greater clarity on the approach so member states can make sound financial decisions.U.N. blamed for Haitian cholera outbreak 04:07“For maximum, long-term impact, we encourage you to ensure Track 2 programing complements those activities undertaken under Track 1, such as community-related programs related to the water, sanitation and hygiene programs. Those activities undertaken under Track 1 and Track 2 should also be coordinated with the wider humanitarian assistance being provided to Haiti,” Coleman said in a statement.Sen. Edward J. Markey, the top Democrat on the US Senate Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, expressed hope that member states would support the plan.“This apology from the United Nations has been years overdue and is an important first step for justice for the people of Haiti,” Markey said in a statement.“The people of Haiti have long deserved more than just acknowledgment for the pain and sacrifice they have suffered in great part due to UN negligence. The UN must now put its money where its mouth is and provide compensation to the Haitian people suffering from the devastation caused by the cholera epidemic.”…Click HERE for the original text.

Discussion on Haiti’s election of Jovenel Moise as president

December 2, 2016 - 11:54

After a long-awaited election, Haiti has elected Jovenel Moise as its new president, giving him nearly 56% of the vote. While Moise’s opponents have rejected the results, and there has been some violence following the announcement, according to IJDH’s Nicole Phillips, ““What Haitians need more than anything is a democratically elected, constitutional government that is stable in order to run the country and figure out how to spend reconstruction money that is coming in.”

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti elects Jovenel Moise, an agricultural entrepreneur, as president

Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times

December 2, 2016

A man kicks a tear-gas canister fired by police during clashes in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on Nov. 29, 2016. (Photo from original article)


After more than a week of vote counting, it appears that a banana exporter with no experience in government has won Haiti’s presidential election with the support of roughly 10% of eligible voters.

There were reports of tires set on fire and car windows smashed in parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, after the provisional tally was announced late Monday following a laborious process of counting paper ballots by hand. At least three losing candidates rejected the results.

That did not seem to bode well for attempts to bring stability to a nation racked by political upheaval, extreme poverty, natural disasters and a deadly cholera outbreak…


Click HERE for the full article.

UNSG apologizes but fails to acknowledge UN culpability in cholera outbreak

December 2, 2016 - 11:49

While there has been much celebration after the UN Secretary General’s address to the UNGA apologizing for the UN’s role in the Haiti cholera outbreak, several prominent voices in the fight for a cholera-free Haiti have expressed concern and disapproval of Ban Ki-moon’s failure to acknowledge the UN’s culpability in the outbreak. IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstrom is quoted saying, “The secretary-general’s avoidance of fully admitting responsibility will undermine the U.N.’s ability to fund-raise for this plan. Without money to put into this plan, it won’t be anything more than just words on paper.”

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, 2106

Health workers collect the body of a cholera victim in Petionville, Haiti, in February 2011. The disease first appeared on the island in October 2010. (Photo from original article)


Six years after the deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti began, outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized this week for how the U.N. responded to the crisis. But he did not acknowledge that U.N. peacekeepers started it.

“On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: We apologize to the Haitian people,” Ban said Thursday. “We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti.”

The closest Ban comes to a public admission that U.N. peacekeeping soldiers brought cholera to Haiti is a sentence that calls the U.N.’s role “a blemish on the reputation of U.N. peacekeeping.”…

Click HERE for the full article.

UN SG “profoundly sorry” for role in Haiti cholera outbreak

December 2, 2016 - 11:18

In Secretary General’s address on December 1, 2016, Ban Ki-moon stated that “[the UN] simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti. We are profoundly sorry for our role.” This apology and announcement of the UN’s proposal to treat, and eventually eliminate cholera in Haiti comes as a victory and major first step for many affected by cholera, and fighting for justice.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

UN “Profoundly Sorry” for Haiti Cholera OutbreakTharanga Yakupitiyage, Inter Press ServiceDecember 2, 2016 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the General Assembly during a briefing on the United Nations’ New Approach to Cholera in Haiti. (Photo from original article)


UNITED NATIONS, Dec 2 2016 (IPS) – For the first time, the United Nations issued a formal apology for their role in the cholera outbreak in Haiti and announced new steps to alleviate the ongoing health crisis.

Speaking to the members of the UN General Assembly, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made an emotional statement, expressing his deep regret for the suffering and loss of life that resulted from the cholera epidemic.

“On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: we apologise to the Haitian people. We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti. We are profoundly sorry for our role,” said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Thursday…


Click HERE for the full article.

UN apology, its history of stonewalling, and the new cholera plan

December 2, 2016 - 10:56

Russell examines Ban Ki-moon’s apology to the victims of the Haiti cholera outbreak, the UN’s history with the epidemic leading up to the apology, and what this speech could mean going forward for the organization and the victims.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

UN apologizes for Haiti’s cholera epidemic without noting it brought the disease

George Russell, Fox News

December 2, 2016

Resident throws dirty water into a drain which leads into the sea in Port-au-Prince in file photo. (Photo from original article)


United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon has ended—sort of– six years of UN stonewalling over Haiti’s mammoth cholera epidemic with a weak apology that the world organization “simply did not do enough”  about the epidemic, without mentioning  that UN peacekeepers brought the deadly disease to the hemisphere’s poorest country in the first place.

Ban’s statement Thursday to the UN General Assembly  declared that “we are profoundly sorry for our role,” without going into the specifics of what that role actually was.

It was nonetheless touted by other UN officials as “an important day for the UN,” that also is supposed to mark the start of a new approach to the cholera catastrophe that would include “material assistance and support for those Haitians most directly affected by cholera”—as soon as U.N. member states come up with the money for it…



Click HERE for the full article.


After UN Cholera Apology, the Work Towards Eradication Truly Begins

December 2, 2016 - 10:47

After nearly six years of demanding an apology from the United Nations for causing a deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti, Haitian cholera victims and their advocates were pleasantly surprised by receiving on from the Secretary-General on December 1. In a statement before the UN, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized and also outlined a $400 million proposal to fight cholera and compensate the victims. Although Ban did not directly apologize for the UN’s own fault in the epidemic, advocates view this as a welcome start. Now the work truly begins, as “we need to fight even harder to get those promises fulfilled,” says IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon.

U.N. Finally Apologizes For Cholera In Haiti … But Omits One Point

Jason Beaubien, NPR

December 2, 2016

For six years, Haitian activists have demanded that the United Nations accept responsibility for cholera in Haiti.

Yet many seemed almost shocked on Thursday by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s apology for the U.N.’s role in the outbreak. Shocked — and pleased.

Activists who have screamed on social media, protested in the streets and filed legal claims against the U.N. over the issue welcomed the secretary-general’s new plan to address cholera in the deeply impoverished Caribbean nation: a proposal to pour $400 million into Haiti to fight cholera and compensate victims of the attack.

Ban Ki-moon’s statement also noted that “the preponderance of the evidence does lead to the conclusion that personnel associated with the [U.N.’s peacekeeping] facility were the most likely source.”

But he stopped short of apologizing for the fact that the bacteria was brought to the island by Nepalese peacekeepers and flowed out of toilets from their base in to a local water supply.

For that reason, Philip Alston, the U.N.’s human rights special rapporteur, told The Guardian that Ban Ki-moon had made a “half-apology.”

Others were optimistic. “The U.N.’s promises are promising,” says Brian Concannon, the head of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, a harsh critic of the U.N. on this issue and one of the leaders of the legal campaign to try to force the U.N. to pay reparations to victims of the outbreak.

U.N. peacekeepers inadvertently brought cholera to Haiti in 2010 just after the crippling earthquake. The outbreak, which is still ongoing, has sickened nearly 800,000 people and killed nearly 9,000. Prior to 2010 cholera had not been reported in Haiti in decades.

Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly Thursday, Ban Ki-moon, said the U.N. deeply regrets the loss of life the outbreak caused.

“On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: We apologize to the Haitian people,” the secretary-general said.

“We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti. We are profoundly sorry for our role.”

Concannon, in a conference call with supporters of what his organization calls the “cholera justice movement,” welcomed the apology and the proposed new funding. “But we need to fight even harder to get those promises fulfilled,” he added.

Even though the U.N. still has not acknowledged that it was involved in bringing the deadly disease to Haiti, activists were appreciative of Ban ki-Moon’s words.

“We asked for an apology and I really deeply appreciate the words from the secretary-general,” said Junia Barreau, a Haitian activist based in Montreal. “Victims need these words. They asked for them and they got it. It’s an accomplishment.”


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Real work on cholera must follow UN apology

December 2, 2016 - 10:42

In response to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s apology to Haitians for the cholera outbreak in 2010, many cholera advocates have called for the UN and its member states to demonstrate its commitment to ridding Haiti of cholera through effective action. Brian Concannon underscores this, with a quote that, “words alone, won’t save lives or remove the stain on the UN’s reputation.”

After UN apology, real work on cholera in Haiti begins

Boston Globe

December 2, 2016

A Haitian man with cholera symptoms receives medical attention at Saint Antoine Hospital of Jeremie in southwestern Haiti. (Photo from original article)


The United Nations offered Haiti a lackluster apology this week for its role in a deadly cholera outbreak on the island nation. Donor nations, including the United States, must do better in delivering material relief.

Cholera did not exist in Haiti before a group of UN peacekeepers came to the country in 2010 from Nepal, which was in the throes of an outbreak.

Part of the international force responding to a devastating earthquake, the Nepalese troops lived on a base that frequently leached waste into a river, and the water-borne disease soon infected people nearby. At least 9,200 have died over the last six years — possibly many more — and hundreds of thousands have been sickened.

Scientists long ago traced the misery to the base. But for years, the UN refused to take full responsibility and asserted absolute immunity to legal challenges on behalf of the victims.

This week, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, nearing the end of his 10-year term, offered his fullest mea culpa to date in a speech before the General Assembly that moved between Creole, French, and English.

“We apologize to the Haitian people,” he said, in English. “We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and spread in Haiti. We are profoundly sorry for our role.”

Ban’s statement was true enough, as far as it went; public health experts say far more could have been done to contain the outbreak early on and spare lives.

But the secretary general, hewing to the UN’s rigid legal position, still did not acknowledge the organization’s responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti in the first place.

Philip Alston, the UN’s own special rapporteur for human rights, bashed Ban’s speech in a statement to The Guardian newspaper, calling it a “half-apology” that “entrenches a scandalous legal maneuver designed to sidestep the UN’s legal obligations.”

The UN, however insufficient its statements, does want to dedicate $400 million for redress. About $200 million, much of it already raised, would be dedicated to treating cholera and making some improvements to Haiti’s water and sanitation system.

Another $200 million, still to be raised, would go to “material assistance” to those affected by the outbreak. That could come in the form of direct aid to families of the dead or community-wide efforts, like improving education and equipping health centers.

It’s a reasonably good plan. The United States and other donor nations must make it a reality. Brian Concannon, executive director of the Boston-based Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, put it plainly: “Words alone,” he wrote, in an e-mail to the Globe, “won’t save lives or remove the stain on the UN’s reputation.”


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UN apology a ‘major step towards justice,’ still much to be done

December 2, 2016 - 10:02

Following UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s apology to Haitians for the UN’s role in the cholera outbreak, several Haiti affiliated groups have accepted the apology, while demanding that the UN effectively implement its proposed plan as soon as possible. Brian Concannon calls on member states to “rise to the challenge and actually fund and effectively execute the projects.”

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Taking ‘Major Steps Towards Justice,’ UN Apologizes for Haiti Cholera Outbreak

Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

December 2, 2016

A scene from a Haitian protest against the U.N. in 2011, one year since the start of the cholera outbreak. (Photo from original article)


Marking what one advocacy group hailed as “major steps towards justice,” the United Nations on Thursday apologized for its role in the deadly cholera outbreak in Haiti.

Since the outbreak began in 2010—firmly linked to reckless sewage practices by a Nepalese contingent of U.N. peacekeepers—data from the World Health Organization shows thatcholera has killed over 9,000 people and sickened over 780,000. Cholera victims have spent years seeking legal redress, but the U.N. has claimed immunity…


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

December 2, 2016 - 08:39

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 in Haiti began, outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized this week for how the U.N. responded to the crisis. But he did not acknowledge that U.N. peacekeepers started it.

“On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: We apologize to the Haitian people,” Ban said Thursday. “We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti.”

The closest Ban comes to a public admission that U.N. peacekeeping soldiers brought cholera to Haiti is a sentence that calls the U.N.’s role “a blemish on the reputation of U.N. peacekeeping.”

Philip Alston, an official U.N. human rights watchdog, calls Ban’s long-awaited mea culpa, delivered to members of the U.N. General Assembly, a “half-apology.”

“The good news,” Alston says in a statement, is that Ban “has finally acted, albeit in his last month in office, after years of stonewalling.” That’s a step in the right direction, Alston says, and he praises Ban for keeping compensation of Haitian victims of cholera and their families “on the table.”


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UN finally apologizes for Haiti cholera, but is it enough?

December 2, 2016 - 07:17

In remarks delivered in Haitian Creole, French and English, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized for the cholera epidemic in Haiti and the inadequate UN response to the epidemic. Though he did not directly say that the UN caused the epidemic, he subtly acknowledged it and pledged to do much more, describing the UN’s new plan for cholera elimination and stressing that it is feasible. Cholera victims in Haiti accepted the apology but were clear that it is not enough if the cholera elimination plan does not move forward, and quickly.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Ban Ki-moon apologizes to Haiti for cholera outbreak, doesn’t admit fault

Tom Murphy, Humanosphere

December 2, 2016

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took another step in recognizing the failures of the U.N. during the cholera outbreak in Haiti. He apologized in remarks delivered in Creole, English and French for not doing enough, but did mention the U.N.’s role in causing the outbreak.

“The United Nations deeply regrets the loss of life and suffering caused by the cholera outbreak in Haiti,” Ban said. “On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: We apologize to the Haitian people. We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti.”

“We are profoundly sorry for our role.”

Ban went on to say that the outbreak is a “blemish on the reputation of U.N. peacekeeping.” It is a subtle acknowledgment that cholera was brought to Haiti by a Nepalese peacekeeping unit. But the remarks did not go as far as accepting full blame.


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