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UN Secretary General Candidates Starting to Stand for Cholera Justice

July 14, 2016 - 12:12

In the first-ever televised debate between candidates for the next United Nations Secretary General, a moderator asked about the UN-caused cholera epidemic in Haiti. While justice for the cholera victims may seem like a no-brainer, it has been notoriously tough for the UN, which has dodged accountability for almost six years. In the debate, one candidate stood out by taking a stand for accountability, joining a few other candidates who have also publicly supported justice for Haiti’s cholera victims. This article shows that justice is becoming more and more unavoidable for the UN, and that the next Secretary General may be the one to finally address the ongoing epidemic.

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

Click HERE for more on the fight for cholera justice.

A lone hand raised on the question of U.N. responsibility for cholera in Haiti

Tom Murphy, Humanosphere

July 14, 2016

When it comes to the possibility that the United Nations might claim responsibility for causing the outbreak of cholera in Haiti, Costa Rican diplomat Christina Figueres stands alone. In the first-ever televised debate of the secretary-general candidates, the moderator asked whether they would apologize for the import of cholera to Haiti by Nepalese peacekeepers in fall 2009. Flanked by some of the early favorites to take the job, only Figueres raised her hand.

“I believe that was an unintended consequence of a very important goal of the United Nations,” Figueres said when she was asked to explain why she raised her hand. “But we have to be responsible even for unintended consequences. If I go to the 38th floor I will make sure that during my tenure that we completely eradicate malaria and cholera in Haiti … that is a moral responsibility the United Nations has, and it must be fulfilled.”

 

Click HERE for the full text and video.

12 Haitian Senators Put Their Salaries Towards Elections

July 14, 2016 - 09:33

With the United States’ decision to withdraw funding for Haiti’s elections, Haiti has to find a way to fill the gap in funds for the electoral process. Twelve Haitian Senators have decided to give two months of their salaries to the elections pot. While this article questions the Senators’ motives, this could be a step towards Haiti financing its own elections.

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

Haiti – Elections : 12 senators give their wages

HaitiLibre

July 14, 2016

The majority group to the Senate composed of 12 senators : Nenel Cassy, Evallière Beauplan, Ricard Pierre, Francisco Delacruz, François Luca Sainvil, Stevens Iverson Benoît, Francenet Denius, Jean Baptiste Bien Aimé, Westner Polycarpe, Fritz Carlos Lebon, Ronald Larèche and Antonio Cheramy, indicates in a correspondence that following the precariousness of State revenues to help achieve the next elections, they decided to give 2 months of their salary.

Extract of the correspondence :
“[…] In order to remedy this situation, we have decided the following:

1. The donation of our salaries for the month of August and September 2016 except of operating fees as our participation in the realization of the next elections to elect a legitimate president on 7 February 2017 to fill vacancies to the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies;

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Children of Peacekeepers: Those Left Behind by UN Mission in Haiti

July 14, 2016 - 06:44

The AP investigates children left behind by United Nations peacekeeping troops in Haiti, focusing on the single case of Rosa Mina Joseph, a very young Haitian mother. The father of her child, Julio Cesar Posse, left the country when his rotation ended, leaving Joseph with no contact information and no monetary support. The U.N. has acknowledged the issues of peacekeeper sexual abuse and paternity cases, yet little has been done to support the victims and their children.

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

Support Sought for Kids Left Behind by UN Troops in Haiti

The Associated Press, The New York Times

July 14, 2016

PORT SALUT, Haiti — The first time Rosa Mina Joseph met Julio Cesar Posse he was hanging out in civilian clothes on the beach in her hometown in southern Haiti, where he was stationed as a member of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

Within weeks, she says, the Uruguayan marine was showing up every weekend at her family’s shack, pledging his love in Spanish and broken Haitian Creole.

But about a year later when his rotation ended, Posse quietly returned home. He left behind Joseph, a broken-hearted 17-year-old with an infant and no way to support the child without depending on struggling relatives.

….

Click HERE for the full text.

The Moral Imperative of Responsibility

July 13, 2016 - 06:32

The apathy paid to responsibility by the UN concerning cholera in Haiti represents a breakdown in the international order. This denial is an example of a superiority above accountability that threatens the delicate agreement of treaties and understandings when it comes to supranational aid.

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

No Immunity from Cholera

Debra L. Raskin & Anil Kalhan, Foreign Affairs

July 13, 2016

Pressure is mounting on the United States to push the United Nations to respond more effectively to the cholera epidemic that broke out in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. The epidemic has reportedly killed at least 9,200 and, by some estimates, perhaps as many as three times that number. Hundreds of thousands more have been infected. And the devastation isn’t over; Haiti continues to struggle to contain a disease that it had not previously faced for over a century.

Evidence points to United Nations peacekeepers as the most likely source of the disease in Haiti. An expert panel commissioned by the United Nations itself pointed the finger at the “haphazard” disposal of human waste at a UN base close to the epicenter of the outbreak, near a tributary to Haiti’s largest river—the primary water source for tens of thousands of people. Most recently, news outlets reported that an internal UN memo stated that improper disposal of human waste was a widespread problem at other UN bases across Haiti as well.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

UN Secretary General Candidates Divided on Cholera Justice

July 12, 2016 - 16:40

Below is an excerpt from the most recent UN Secretary General candidates’ debate, in which the candidates are asked how they would respond to the cholera epidemic in Haiti as Secretary General. While some of the candidates appeared conflicted, two stood out–one for and one against justice for the cholera victims.

Click HERE for the recording. (In the first video, starts around 48:10.)

The UN Debate

Al Jazeera

July 12, 2016

James Bays: I’d like to ask you now a specific question about a country that is one of the poorest of the world, and certainly one of the poorest in the Americas. It’s a question about Haiti because the UN’s involvement in Haiti is one that some have found very controversial. Clearly, there has been this outbreak of cholera, now the official figures say 9200 people have died from cholera and many think it’s much more than that. Many scientists believe that the UN peacekeepers brought to Haiti. So maybe we can have a show of hands: as Secretary-General, would any of you would admit responsibility and apologize to the people of Haiti?

[Christiana Figueres boldly raises her hand, Danilo Turk throws his hand up and down suggesting a caveated answer, Igor Luksic briefly raises hand then puts it back down, Irina Bokova and Helen Clark keep their hands down.Huge applause and cheers from the audience (which mind you is a lot of member states!!) when Figueres raises her hand. ]Bays: Explain why please and then we’ll speak to the others.Figueres: Yes, because I believe that the UN’s reputation also on that has actually been tarnished. That was an unintended consequence of a very important goal of the United Nations. Unintended consequence. But we have to be responsible even for unintended consequences. If I go to the 38th floor,I will make sure that during my tenure we completely completely eradicate malaria and cholera from Haiti.  The advantage of that is that we will actually increase the sanitation level and the health levels over all.  But that is a responsibility – a moral responsibility —  that the UN has, and that must be fulfilled.  [audience applauds]Bays: If I may ask a follow-up. Wiill you pay the compensation, Yes or no?Figures: No, the United Nations is not in a position to pay compensation. But more importantly, the UN is called upon to, as I said, to ensure that the disease is eradicated in Haiti, and that it never happens again in any other country.Bays: Now let’s hear from someone who didn’t raise their hand. Helen Clark?[audience chuckles]Clark: What I learned as prime minister, is that no matter how tempting it might be to comment on a case before the courts, it’s not wise to do so.  We have a case on this before the courts in this country. What I know is that people have died, as you said, children are orphaned, people have lost loved ones, because of this. Has the international response to that situation been sufficient? No. Cholera is still in Haiti. So the critical thing now is to really support for Haiti to have better water and sanitation for its people, better living standards, and for the families who have been so damaged by what happened to be able to rebuild their lives.  If there are issues of sanitation in UN camps, which there may well be, let us attend to that, because UN peacekeepers shouln’t be living in squalor either.  If that is going to cause a problem, as it will, not only to them but to a surrounding neighborhood. So we have a lot of work to do to put things right for the people in Haiti.….Click HERE for the recording. (Starts around minute 20.)

State Department Needs to Pressure UN to Act on Cholera in Haiti

July 12, 2016 - 08:51

In this editorial piece, the Boston Globe explores the issue of cholera in Haiti and explicitly pressures the United Nations to compensate victims. Referencing the bipartisan support voiced in a recent Congressional letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, the article poses the United Nations as clearly at fault for the epidemic. Although it states the expansive nature of a water and sanitation project, it sheds light on the minimal efforts exerted by the UN to help end the epidemic.

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

State Dept. should demand UN take responsibility in Haiti

The Boston Globe

July 12, 2016

WHEN A BIPARTISAN group in Congress can agree on something, it’s worth noting. Especially when these lawmakers are pushing for action to save innocent lives and help the victims of a raging public health disaster.

The disaster, in this case, is the unchecked cholera epidemic in Haiti — which took hold after an earthquake in 2010. Despite overwhelming medical evidence that the disease was brought to the island nation by United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal, the UN has largely hidden behind the principle of diplomatic immunity, conveyed by charter in order to protect the body from lawsuits by individual nations. Reaction from the US State Department has also been subdued. But diplomatic niceties are no substitute for moral imperative.

Last month, 158 members of the US House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary of State John F. Kerry urging the State Department to “exercise its leadership to ensure that the United Nations . . . take concrete steps to eliminate the cholera epidemic introduced to Haiti in 2010 by waste from a UN peacekeeper camp, and to comply with its legal and moral obligations to provide cholera victims with access to an effective remedy.”

Click HERE for the full text.

Doctors Without Borders Supports Sexual Violence Survivors

July 11, 2016 - 09:47
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDoctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)Contact: Jessica Brown +1-212-763-5740MSF MEDIA ADVISORY: HAITI: PHOTOGRAPHER BENEDICTE KURZEN SHEDS LIGHT ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE Sexual violence in Haiti is a medical emergency, and affects a disproportionate number of children. July 11-15, NOOR photographer Benedicte Kurzen will be sharing the reality of the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) sexual violence clinic in Port-au-Prince directly over MSF’s Instagram.Since opening a year ago, the number of survivors coming to the Pran Men m (Creole for “Take My Hand”) clinic in Port-au-Prince has risen to one hundred per month. More than half of the patients are under 18 years of age. MSF provides medical and psychological care, and other support where necessary.The MSF clinic is part of a broader network of Haitian organizations supporting survivors of sexual violence. Benedicte’s work will further seek to showcase these domestic responses to this largely invisible crisis.###

In opposition to re-election, State Department refuses to fund Haiti election

July 10, 2016 - 12:44

In a press briefing dedicated to the U.S. suspension of electoral assistance to Haiti, State Department Spokesman John Kirby denied the motivation of the move as having any basis in leverage. Recalling the highly contested EU and OAS reports on the 2015 elections, Kirby reiterated that the elections had been found to be acceptable in the eyes of some international observers. He refused to divulge the details of the Haitian-American diplomatic conversations while in an exchange with two journalists.

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

U.S. denies Haiti election aid suspension is about leverage

Samuel Maxime, Haiti Sentinel

July 10, 2016

The Obama administration on Thursday denied its suspension of electoral assistance to Haiti was for the sake of leverage after the island nation resolved to scrap a massively fraudulent election from 2015. State Department Spokesman John Kirby fielded and stumbled over questions from journalists during the July 7, 2016 press briefing on the matter.

The State Department was clear in its opposition to a suspension of the electoral cycle on January 22, an investigation and subsequent findings of massive fraud, May 1 to May 31, and the decision of a new Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to at least redo the presidential contest. “We’ve made no bones about the fact that we had concerns about the way the process was unfolding. And as I said, we had no plans – did not plan for funding for two more electoral rounds,” said Mr. Kirby undenying of the Obama administration displeasure. But when asked whether the suspension of electoral assistance was linked to Haiti’s decision to scrap the first contests, he began to stumble

Click HERE for the full text.

Consequences of US Funding Withdrawal from Haiti’s Elections

July 8, 2016 - 18:18

The United States has decided to pull $2 million in funding from Haiti’s elections as a statement of disapproval for re-running the presidential elections in October. After finding that the first round of presidential elections were marred by massive fraud, a commission decided to throw the old results out and hold an entirely new presidential election. European Union observers withdrew to express their disapproval and U.S. State Department officials have said they do not understand the decision to start over. While some feel that the U.S. withdrawal from the elections will be a positive step for Haiti’s sovereignty, some worry that lack of U.S. approval will de-legitimize the elections and provide detractors in Parliament a reason to continue blocking the process.

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

US Withdraws Funding for Haiti Elections

Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch, Center for Economic and Policy Research

July 8, 2016

Dismayed by the decision to rerun controversial and fraud-plagued presidential elections, the US State Department announcedon Thursday a suspension of electoral assistance to Haiti. State Department spokesperson John Kirby said the decision was communicated to Haitian authorities last week, noting that the US “has provided over $30 million in assistance” for elections and that the move would allow the US “to maintain priority assistance” for ongoing projects.

Kirby added that “I don’t have a dollar figure in terms of this because it wasn’t funded, it wasn’t budgeted.” However multiple sources have confirmed that the U.S has withdrawn nearly $2 million already in a United Nations controlled fund for elections. Donor governments, as well as the Haitian state, had contributed to the fund. Prior to the US move, $8.2 million remained for elections.

The pulling of funds indicates the growing displeasure with Haitian authorities’ decision to rerun last year’s presidential elections.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Haitian Civil Society Delegation Travels to Europe

July 8, 2016 - 06:19

Recently, three representatives from Haitian civil society groups visited Brussels and Paris in order to discuss and explain their viewpoints with regards to the current political and socio-economic conditions in Haiti. Meeting with members of the European Parliament, EU desk officers, staff members of European NGOs, members of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and various journalists, each member the Haitian delegation represented a different sector of Haitian civil society, including environmental, agricultural, and human rights concerns. Although they ran into resistance in their discussions with EU officers in Brussels, the Haitian leaders found the French government and the French NGOs to be very receptive.

….

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

First impressions visit Haitian delegation to Brussels and Paris

Els Hortensius, Coordination Europe-Haiti

July 2016

From Monday through Wednesday June 27 – 29, three representatives of the Haitian civil society visited Brussels, invited by the Coordination Europe -Haiti. During their stay they met with members of the European Parliament, as well as with EU desk officers and staff members of European NGOs. From June 30 until July 2 they were in Paris where they met with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also with French NGOs and development cooperation staff members.  Goal of the visit was the presentation of an analysis of the current political and socio-economic situation from a civil society viewpoint, in the light of future negotiations on continued EU aid and support for Haiti. Also, the visitors wanted to call attention to the dire food situation that could emerge into a real food crisis if no action is taken.

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Click HERE for the full text.

U.S. Pulls Funding for Haiti Elections

July 7, 2016 - 13:42

The U.S. State department announced on Thursday that they will not be financing the next round of Haitian elections. Having already put in $33 million to finance the first round of elections, the U.S. says they did not plan funding for 2 more electoral rounds. This decision comes with the European Union’s decision to pull its electoral mission from Haiti last month. It seems Haiti is on her own, but spokespeople say that Haiti will come up with the funds needed to finance the elections because it is of utmost priority.

Click HERE for the full article.

U. S. to Haiti: Pay for your own elections

Jacqueline Charles Miami Herald

July 7th, 2016 

The U.S. will not be financing Haiti’s Oct. 9 rerun presidential elections, State Department spokesman John Kirby said Thursday.

Kirby said Haitian officials were notified on July 1 that the U.S. government, which provided $33 million toward last year’s contested legislative and presidential elections, “has suspended its assistance toward the completion of the presidential electoral process.”

“We did not plan funding for two more electoral rounds in 2016 and 2017,” Kirby said.

He insisted during a news briefing that the suspension of electoral aid did not symbolize a “reduction in U.S. support for the development of Haiti” or its people.

The U.S., along with the European Union, which announced last month that it was pulling its elections observer mission from Haiti , has made no secret of its displeasure with the country’s decision to rerun the first round of the presidential race. The decision was taken by the Provisional Electoral Council on the recommendations of a five-member panel tasked with auditing the Oct. 25 vote.

Click HERE for the full article.

 

 

In Letter to Secretary General, Congresswoman Waters Urges Improvement in UN Response to Cholera in Haiti

July 7, 2016 - 08:18

In a letter to Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, Congresswoman Maxine Waters urges an improvement in the UN response to Haiti’s cholera epidemic. On the third anniversary of the Secretary-General’s response to the letter published by Waters and 19 other representatives, the Congresswoman stressed the need for justice in conjunction with the maintenance of UN credibility. Stating the recent Doctors Without Borders study that indicates a three to ten times higher death rate than the previous estimate, she made clear the need for a more involved UN response to cholera.

….

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

Congresswoman Waters Urges United Nations to Ensure Effective Response to Cholera in Haiti

Sentinel News Service, Los Angeles Sentinel

July 7, 2016

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee and a strong advocate for the Haitian people in the U.S. Congress, sent a letter yesterday to the Honorable Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, urging him to ensure that the UN’s response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti is sufficient to ensure justice for the people of Haiti and maintain the credibility and leadership of the UN. The Congresswoman sent the letter on the three-year anniversary of a response she received from the Secretary-General to a previous letter she had sent him with 18 of her colleagues regarding the epidemic, which began in October of 2010. The text of yesterday’s letter follows:

I am writing, as a friend of the people of Haiti and of the United Nations, on the anniversary of your response to the May 30, 2013, letter that I and 18 of my colleagues in the House of Representatives sent you regarding the UN response to the cholera epidemic that UN peacekeepers introduced into Haiti in 2010.

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Click HERE for the full text.

Congresswoman Waters Deplores Three Years of UN Inaction on Haiti Cholera

July 7, 2016 - 07:27

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact: Kermshlise Picard, Communications Coordinator, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, media@ijdh.org; +1-617-652-0876 (Interviews available in English, French & Kreyòl).)

Congresswoman Waters Deplores Three Years of UN Inaction on Haiti Cholera

Letter to Secretary-General Ban Notes Gaps Between 2013 Assurances, Current Reality

BOSTON, July 7 2016 – In a scathing letter sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday, Congresswoman Maxine Waters criticized the UN’s failure to respond effectively to the cholera epidemic introduced to Haiti by UN troops, and warned that the failure is “squandering the UN’s credibility” and “imperils the effectiveness of billions allocated to current and future UN activities” by the US Congress.

“This letter sends a clear message that the UN can no longer hide behind vague assurances and untenable legal positions while cholera continues to kill Haitians” said Brian Concannon, Jr. Esq., Executive Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti.

Representative Waters’ letter comes exactly three years after Secretary General Ban wrote to Waters and other members of the US House of Representatives, assuring them of his “personal commitment” to ensuring that the United Nations spare no effort in responding to the cholera situation. Rep. Waters observed that in the intervening three years the UN has “done little to install the water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to stop the epidemic and nothing to compensate the victims for their losses” while cholera continues to kill Haitians. She notes that the UN did not even replace the organization’s coordinator on the cholera response when he left over a year ago.

Representative Waters was particularly critical of Secretary-General Ban’s contention that the cholera victim’s legal claims were “non-receivable”, a position rejected by five UN Human Rights Experts as incompatible with the UN’s human rights obligations. She recommended that Mr. Ban reconsider the contention in light of the UN’s founding commitments to human rights and the rule of law.

“The UN’s ‘non-receivable’ excuse was never morally or legally justified, and as this letter shows, it is no longer politically justifiable either” said Concannon. “Ban Ki-moon must act now to save his legacy and the UN’s credibility by ensuring a just response to the ongoing crisis”

Today’s letter is the latest contribution to a growing tide of global pressure on the UN to uphold its obligations to Haiti’s cholera victims. In recent months a number of governments speaking at UN meetings have called on the UN to do more to address the cholera crisis, including providing victim remedies. A majority of the candidates vying to succeed Mr. Ki-moon who have been asked about cholera have publicly committed to victim remedies. As noted by Congresswoman Waters, the UN’s own human rights experts have advised the Secretary-General that the Organization’s approach “undermines the reputation of the United Nations, calls into question the ethical framework within which its peace-keeping forces operate, and challenges the credibility of the organization as an entity that respects human rights.” Just last week, 158 members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to U.S. Secretary General John Kerry calling on the U.S. to use its leverage with the UN to ensure a just response.

A copy of Rep. Waters’ letter is available here.

 

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Petisyon: Enkli fanm andikape yo nan Politik Egalite Fanm ak Gason

July 6, 2016 - 21:01

Petition for an inclusive approach respecting the equality of women with disabilities in the National Policy for Equality of Women and Men (2014-2034) launched by the Haitian government on 6 March, 2015

Gouvènman ayisyen an: Enklizyon fanm andikape yo nan Politik Egalite Fanm ak Gason

Siyen petisyon an ISI.

Petisyon pou yon apwòch politik ki pa chita sou eksklizyon ak inegalite kont fanm andikape yo nan Politik Nasyonal Egalite Fanm ak Gason (2014-2034) gouvènman ayisyen an te tanmen nan dat 6 mas 2015

Nou menm ki depoze siyati n anba petisyon sa, wete chapo n byen ba pou n salye lansman Politik Nasyonal Egalite Fanm ak Gason (2014-2034) gouvènman la, ki te tanmen nan dat 6 mas 2015 ki sot pase la. Nan kad politik sila, Leta Ayisyen di li manifeste volonte l pou konstwi yon peyi kote fanm ak gason ka viv nan kondisyon egal ego, yon mannyèpou yo jwenn jwisans tout dwa yo, epi tabli yon sosyete tout moun anndan san fòs kote. Malgre mepri gouvènman ayisyen an, politik sa a egziste.

Malgre, atout yap klenwonnen politik sila mete tout moun anndan, yo voye jete byen lwen fanm andikape yo, sitou lè nap konsidere yo pat menm invite yo, osnon yo pat konsilte yo lè yo tap elabore politik sa; sa ki se yon gwo zak diskriminasyon, osnon majinalizasyon. Mete sou kote fanm andikape yo nan politik nasyonal la, montre aklè kategori sila viktim yon sitiyasyon eksklizyon. Nap pale de yon dokiman estratejik, nan sis oryantasyon prensipal li yo, ki montre bezwen fanm ayisyèn yo pou ven lane k ap vini yo, san l pa sonje bezwen fanm ki nan sitiyasyon andikap yo.

Sis oryantasyon politik sila se : egalite devan lalwa ak jisits, edikasyon ki pa seksis, jwenn bon jan sante seksyèl epi ka fè pitit, bon jan mezi kont vyolans, egalite ekonomik, ak patisipasyon egal ego nan gwo desizyon ki gen rapò ak vi sosyete a. Nan tout oryantasyon sa yo, yo mete fanm andikape yo sou kote ; konsa yo vyole dwa sivil ak politik yo, dwa sosyal ak ekonomik yo tou.

Premye oryantasyon an ki se « Pou egalite devan lalwa ak jistis san fòs kote pou fanm ak gason ». Politik sa a rekonèt fòs kote ki gen nan sistèm jidisyè a « touche pi plis fanm ki nan gwoup ki pi frajil yo tankou fanm andikape yo ». Men, politik sa a pa tabli okenn objetkif ak mezi pou fini ak eksklizyon fanm andikape yo nan sistèm jidisyè a.Dayè, yo pa gen aksè ak sistèm jidisyè a epi li diskriminatwa, sa ki lakoz yo viktim de (2) fason : yon bò, akoz sèks yo, yon lòt bò akoz andikap yo. Mete sou sa, gen aktè nan chèn penal la (lapolis, jij, komisè gouvènman, eks.) ki diminye yo, neglije yo epi devalorize yo, anpil fwa otorite sa yo pa pwoteje yo epi yo trete yo « kokobe ».

Dezyèm oryantasyon an se « Pou yon edikasyon ki pa seksis ak modèl egalitè ». Se yon obligasyon pou mete fanm andikape yo anndan oryantasyon sa paske dwa pou fanm ak ti fi andikape yo jwenn bon jan edikasyon pa respekte ; yo ekskli yo nan sistèm edikatif la akoz andikap yo, diskriminasyon, asèlman ak vyolans seksyèl yap sibi.

Twazyèm oryantasyon an se « Pou yon aksè ak sante seksyèl epi ka fè pitit nan respè diyite fanm » . Oryantasyon sa voye jete byen lwen fanm ki andikape yo tou. Se yon gwo pwoblèm, paske dwa pou fanm ak ti fi andikape yo jwenn bon jan sante seksyèl epi ka fè pitit, se yon koze moun pa pale, atout sa pèmèt yo maltrete yo ak eksplwate yo. Mete sou sa, yo pa gen aksè ak enfòmasyon, ak sèvis ki pou pèmèt yo jere sante yo epi pwoteje tèt yo pi byen.

Katriyèm oryantasyon an se « Pou eliminasyon vyolans sou tout fòm ki fèt sou fanm ak ti fi ». yon lòt fwa ankò, politik sa koupe fache ak sitiyasyon frajil fanm andikape yo. Menm si reyalite a montre aklè, yap sibi kèk abi ak eksplwatasyon fanm ki pa andikape yo pa sibi. Mete sousa, yo banalize abi yap sibi yo.

Senkyèm oryantasyon an se « Pou yon egalite ekonomik epi aksè ak travay san fòs kote pou fanm ak gason ». Oryantasyon sa a tou, pa bobo ak fanm ki andikape yo. Menm si lwa sou entegrasyon moun andikape yo te egzije yon kota moun andikape nan tout enstitisyon prive ak piblik yo, dispozisyon sila a pa aplike epi li koupe fache espesyalman ak fanm ki gen andikap yo, dayèedifis piblik yo pa adapte epi yo pa aksesib. Yon lòt fwa ankò, fanm ki andikape yo deyò.

Sizyèm oryantasyon an se « Pou yon patisipayon egalitè fanm ak gason nan espas desizyon yo. » Menm jan an, oryantasyon sa a bliye fanm andikape yo, se yon veritab chatiman paske fanm andikape yo ap fè fas ak gwo pwoblèm espesyal, sitou lè nap konsidere patisipasyon yo nan aktivite politik. Pa egzanp, moun andikape ki gen pwoblèm pou deplase ki pa gen aksè ak sant vòt, oubyen ak kanpay elektoral yo poutèt koze diskriminatwa ki chita sou esteryotip (sèks ak andikap) kap chèche entimide epi dekouraje fanm andikape yo pou vote oubyen prezante tankou kandida.

Zak sasinay sou twa fanm soud yo : Jésula Germain, Vanessa Prévil ak Monique Vincent, montre aklè reyalite fanm andikape yo sosyete a mete deyò. Trajedi sa montre tou nesesite pou mete fanm andikape yo anndan tout mezi kap pran ki vize tout bon vre enklizyon yo, pwoteksyon yo, dwa pou yo jwennbon jan enfòmasyon ak egalite fanm ak gason.

Nou menm, ki siyen petisyon sa, mande ak tout fòs nou pou yo rewè Politik Egalite sa, yon mannyè pou li marande ak bezwen fanm ki nan sitiyasyon andikap yo, nan sa ki gen awèn ak oryantasyon yo : lajistis, edikasyon, lasante, mezi kont vyolans, travay, ak patisipasyon nan espas desizyon yo. Mete sou sa, li enpòtan pou Leta respekte obligasyon legal li yo, sou plan nasyonal ak entènasyonal.

Daprè Konstitisyon peyi Dayiti, lè leta ratifye trete entènasyonal yo, li tou fè pati lejislasyon Ayiti a, epi yo anile tout lwa avan ki pa bobo ak yo. Jan politik sa te fè konprann li an, konstitisyion Peyi a ak plizyè konvansyon entènasyonal Ayiti te ratifye, rekonèt egalite fanm ak gason ak prensip non-diskriminasyon kont fanm :Deklarasyon Inivèsèl Dwa moun nan, Pak Entènasyonal sou Dwa Sivil ak Politik la, ansanm avèk Konvansyon sou eliminasyon diskriminasyon sou tout fòm kont fanm lan.

Gen lòt konvansyon entènasyonal Ayiti te ratifye ki egzije prensip non-diskriminasyon an kont moun andikape ak fanm ki nan sitiyasyon andikap, pa egzanp, Konvansyon sou dwa moun andikape yo (at.5) ak Konvansyon Entèramerikèn pou eliminasyon sou tout fòm diskriminasyon kont moun andikape yo (at. 2, 3). Mete sou sa, Konvansyon Entèramerikèn sou prevansyon, sanksyon ak eradikasyon vyolans kont fanmnan, rekonèt jan fanm andikape yo frajil, espesyalman fas ak vyolans (at.9). Poutan, Politik nasyonal egalite Fanm ak Gason an boude konvansyon enpòtan sa yo.

Ayiti te ratifye Konvansyon sou dwa moun andikape yo(KSDMA) nan dat 23 jiyè 2009 la, kidonk li fè pati de lejislasyon an. Atik 6 KSDMA a di « Leta ki fè pati konvansyon an rekonèt fanm ak fi ki andikape yo ekspoze ak tout sòt diskriminasyon epi y ap pran mezi nesesè pou pèmèt yo jui tout dwa moun yo ak tout libète fondamantal yo plènman epi nan kondisyon egalite ». Atik 4 (c) KSDMA a prevwa Leta dwe « pran an kont moun ki andikape yo nan tout politik ak tout pwogram yo ».

Pou rezon sa yo ak lòt ankò, nou menm ki siyen petisyon sa a, ap mande pou Leta rekonèt sitiyasyon eksklizyon ak inegalite fanm nan sitiyasyon andikap yo epi egzije revizyon politik sa a, nan bon jan konsiltasyon ak gwoup fanm ki nan sitiyasyon andikap yo,pou tande revandikasyon espesifik yo. Alèkile, li nesesè pou gouvènman Ayisyen an revize Politik nasyonal egalite Fanm ak Gason sa a, nan pran bon jan mezi kap pèmèt li mete fanm ki nan sitiyasyon andikap yo anndan l, sandi petèt yap ka jwi dwa yo tout bon vre.

 

Siyen petisyon an ISI.

Pétition: inclure les femmes handicapées dans l’égalité du genre

July 6, 2016 - 16:23

Petition for an inclusive approach respecting the equality of women with disabilities in the National Policy for Equality of Women and Men (2014-2034) launched by the Haitian government on 6 March, 2015

Le Gouvernement d’Haiti: Inclure les femmes en situation de handicap dans la Politique d’Égalité Femme HommeSignez la pétition ICI.Nous, les signataires de cette pétition, félicitons le lancement de la Politique nationale d’égalité Femmes Hommes (2014-2034) par le gouvernement haïtien le 6 mars 2015. Le gouvernement haïtien à travers cette politique, dit vouloir un pays où les femmes et les hommes puissent jouir de conditions égales afin d’exercer leurs pleins droits et établir une société haïtienne inclusive avec une forte cohésion sociale. En dépit de la nonchalance du gouvernement, cette politique existe.Cependant, malgré cette vision dite inclusive, les femmes en situation de handicap sont exclues et n’ont même pas été ni invitées ni consultées lors de l’élaboration de cette politique voir au lancement, ce qui constitue un acte de discrimination et marginalisation. La non inclusion des femmes en situation de handicap dans cette politique nationale montre clairement la situation d’exclusion dont est victime cette catégorie. Ce document stratégique avec ses six orientations principales souligne les besoins de la femme haïtienne pour les vingt prochaines années sans prendre en compte les besoins de celles en situation de handicap.Les six orientations de cette politique sont les suivantes : l’égalité de droit et la justice, l’éducation non sexiste, l’accès à la santé sexuelle et reproductive, les mesures contre la violence, l’égalité économique, et la participation égalitaire aux instances décisionnelles. Dans toutes ses orientations, les femmes en situation de handicap sont exclues, en violation de leurs droits civils et politiques, ainsi que de leurs droits sociaux et économiques.

La première orientation est « Pour une égalité de droit et une justice équitable entre les femmes et les hommes ». Cette politique reconnait que les inégalités du système judiciaire « frappent plus durement les femmes qui font partie des groupes vulnérables comme les femmes handicapées ». Pourtant cette politique n’inclut pas les objectifs et mesures visant à mettre fin à l’exclusion des femmes handicapées dans le système judiciaire. Le système judiciaire est inaccessible et discriminatoire, elles sont doublement victimes : d’une part, à cause de leur sexe, et d’autre part, à cause de leur handicap. En plus, elles sont diminuées, négligées et dévalorisées par certains acteurs de la chaîne pénale (la police, les juges, les commissaires du gouvernement etc.), ne sont pas souvent protégées par ces autorités et sont traitées « kocobe ».

La deuxième orientation est « Pour une éducation non sexiste et des modèles égalitaires ».C’est une obligation d’inclure les femmes en situation de handicap dans cette orientation parce que le droit à l’éducation des femmes et filles en situation de handicap n’est pas respecté, elles sont exclues du système éducatif dans les faits à cause d’inaccessibilité, de discrimination, de harcèlement et d’abus sexuel.

La troisième orientation est « Pour un accès à la santé sexuelle et reproductive dans le respect
de la dignité des femmes
». Cette orientation exclut encore les femmes en situation de handicap. C’est un grand problème parce que le droit à la santé sexuelle et reproductive des femmes et des filles en situation de handicap est un sujet tabou malgré qu’elles fassent l’objet de maltraitance et d’exploitation. De plus, elles n’ont pas accès aux informations et aux services leur permettant de mieux gérer leur santé et de mieux se protéger.

La quatrième orientation est « Pour l’élimination de toutes les formes de violence faites aux femmes et aux filles ». La situation vulnérable et précaire des femmes en situation de handicap n’a pas été prise en compte dans cette politique. En dépit du fait qu’en réalité, elles font face à des formes d’abus et d’exploitation que les femmes non handicapées ne subissent pas. En plus les abus dont elles sont victimes sont banalisés.

La cinquième orientation est « Pour une égalité économique et un accès équitable à l’emploi entre les femmes et les hommes ».Cette orientation ne touche pas les femmes en situation de handicap. Bien que la Loi sur l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées prévoie un quota de personnes handicapées dans toutes les institutions privées et publiques, cette disposition n’est pas appliquée, ne tient pas compte non plus de manière spécifique des femmes en situation de handicap et les édifices ne sont pas adaptés et sont donc inaccessibles. Les femmes en situation de handicap sont, une fois de plus, marginalisées.

La sixième orientation est « Pour une participation égalitaire des femmes et des hommes aux instances décisionnelles. »Cette orientation ne mentionne pas les femmes en situation de andicap, c’est une véritable calamité parce que les femmes en situation de handicap font face à des problèmes spécifiques quant à leur participation aux activités politiques. Par exemple, l’inaccessibilité des personnes à mobilité réduite aux centres de votes, aux campagnes électorales en raison de campagnes discriminatoires basées sur les stéréotypes (genre et handicap) visant à intimider et dissuader les femmes en situation de handicap à voter voir à se porter candidates.

La réalité d’exclusion et de vulnérabilité des femmes en situation de handicap est notamment justifiée par l’assassinat des trois femmes sourdes, Jésula Germain, Vanessa Prévil et Monique Vincent. Cette tragédie montre la nécessité d’inclure les femmes en situation de handicap dans les mesures à prendre pour assurer leur inclusion, leur protection, leur droit à l’information et l’égalité femmes hommes.

Nous, les signataires, demandons avec véhémence que cette Politique d’égalité Femmes Hommes soit révisée pour prendre en compte les besoins des femmes en situation de handicap, dans toutes ces orientations :la justice, l’éducation, la santé, les mesures contre la violence, le travail, et la participation aux instances décisionnelles. En outre, c’est nécessaire de modifier cette politique de façon que l’État remplisse ses obligations légales nationales et internationales.

Selon la Constitution haïtienne, les traités internationaux, une fois ratifiés, deviennent partie de la législation d’Haïti et abrogent toutes les lois préexistantes contradictoires. Comme cette politique l’a noté, la constitution et plusieurs conventions internationales ratifiées par Haïti, reconnaissent l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes et le principe de non-discrimination contre les femmes : la Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme, le Pacte International sur les Droits Civils et Politiques ainsi que la Convention sur l’élimination de toutes formes de discrimination à l’égard des femmes.

D’autres conventions internationales ratifiées par Haïti prévoient le principe de non-discrimination contre les personnes handicapées et les femmes en situation de handicap, par exemple, la Convention relative aux droits des personnes handicapées (Art 5) et la Convention Interaméricaine pour l’élimination de toutes formes de discrimination à l’égard des personnes handicapées (Arts 2, 3). De plus, la Convention Interaméricaine sur la prévention, la sanction et l’éradication de la violence contre les femmes reconnait la vulnérabilité particulière des femmes handicapées à la violence (Art 9). Pourtant, la Politique nationale d’égalité Femmes Hommes ignore ces conventions importantes.

Haïti a ratifié la Convention relative aux droits des personnes handicapées (CRDPH) le 23 juillet 2009, donc elle fait partie de la législation. L’article 6 de la CRDPH dispose que « Les États Parties reconnaissent que les femmes et les filles handicapées sont exposées à de multiples discriminations, et ils prennent les mesures voulues pour leur permettre de jouir pleinement et dans des conditions d’égalité de tous les droits de l’homme et de toutes les libertés fondamentales.»L’article 4(c) de la CRDPH prévoit que l’État doit « prendre en compte la protection et la promotion des droits de l’homme des personnes handicapées dans toutes les politiques et dans tous les programmes ».

Nous, les signataires de cette pétition, demandons que l’Etat reconnaisse la situation d’exclusion et d’inégalité des femmes en situation de handicap et exigeons la révision de cette politique en consultation avec les groupes de femmes en situation de handicap, en tenant compte de leurs revendications spécifiques. A l’heure qu’il est, c’est un impératif pour que le gouvernement haïtien révise cette Politique nationale d’égalité Femmes Hommes afin d’inclure les femmes en situation de handicap et prendre des mesures leur permettant de jouir pleinement de tous leurs droits.

Signez la pétition ICI.

Petition: Include Women with Disabilities in Haitian Gender Equality

July 6, 2016 - 16:13

Petition for an inclusive approach respecting the equality of women with disabilities in the National Policy for Equality of Women and Men (2014-2034) launched by the Haitian government on 6 March, 2015

Government of Haiti: Include women with disabilities in the National Gender Equality Policy

Sign the petition HERE.

We, the signatories of this petition, welcome the launch of the National Policy for Equality of Women and Men (2014-2034) by the government on March 6, 2015. The Haitian government, through this policy, signals that it
wants a country where women and men can enjoy equal opportunity to exercise their full rights, and to establish an inclusive Haitian society with strong social cohesion. Despite the nonchalance of the Haitian government in the application of its terms, this policy exists.

However, despite this so-called inclusive vision, women with disabilities are excluded, and have neither been invited nor consulted in the process beginning with the development of this policy and continuing up to the launch; this is an act of discrimination and marginalization. The non-inclusion of women with disabilities in the National Policy clearly demonstrates the situation of exclusion suffered by this category of persons. This strategic document with its six main objectives highlights the needs of Haitian women for the next twenty years without taking into account the needs of women with disabilities.

The six objectives for this Policy are: equal rights and justice, gender education, access to sexual and reproductive health, measures against violence, economic equality, and equal participation in decision-making bodies. In all of these objectives, women with disabilities are excluded, in violation of their civil and political rights, as well as their social and economic rights.

The first objective is “For equal rights and equal justice between women and men“. This Policy recognizes that inequalities of the criminal justice system “hit hardest those women belonging to vulnerable groups, such as women with disabilities.” Yet this Policy does not include objectives and measures to end the exclusion of women with disabilities in the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system is inaccessible and discriminatory, and as a result, these women are victimized twice: first, because of their sex, and second, because of their disability. In addition, they are diminished, devalued and ignored by some in the criminal justice system (police, judges, prosecutors, etc.) and are often not protected by the authorities who treat them as “kocobe”.

The second objective is “For a non-sexist education and egalitarian models.” It is an obligation to include women with disabilities in this objective because the right to education of women and girls with disabilities is not met; they are effectively excluded from education because of inaccessibility, discrimination, harassment and sexual abuse in the education system.

The third objective is “For access to sexual and reproductive health that respects the dignity of women.” This objective again excludes women with disabilities. This is gravely problematic because the right to sexual and reproductive health of women and girls with disabilities is considered taboo, while at the same time, they are subject to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. Furthermore, they lack access to information and to services that would allow them to better manage their health and protect themselves.

The fourth objective is “For the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.” The vulnerable and precarious situation of women with disabilities has not been addressed in this part of the Policy. This is despite the fact that, in reality, they face forms of abuse and exploitation that non-disabled women do not suffer. In addition, the abuse against women with disabilities is condoned as commonplace.

The fifth objective is “For economic equality and equal access to employment for women and men.” This objective does not consider women with disabilities. Although the Law on Integration of People with Disabilities provides for a quota of disabled persons in all private and public institutions, that provision is not applied. It does not take into account specific hurdles for women with disabilities such as the fact that buildings are not suitably accessible. Women with disabilities are, once again, marginalized.

The sixth objective is “For equal participation of women and men in decision-making.” This section does not mention women with disabilities. This is calamitous, because women with disabilities face particular problems regarding their participation in political activities. For example, inaccessible voting centers and discriminatory election campaigns based on stereotypes (such as those based on gender and disability), serve to intimidate and discourage women with disabilities to vote and also to run for elected office.

The reality of exclusion and vulnerability of women with disabilities is especially poignant in light of the killing of three deaf women, Jésula Germain, Vanessa Prévil and Monique Vincent. This tragedy highlights the need to include women with disabilities in measures to ensure their inclusion, their protection, their right to information, and to assure equality between men and women.

We, the undersigned, ask vehemently that this Policy for Equality between Women and Men be revised to take into account the needs of women with disabilities in all these objectives: justice, education, health, measures against violence, work, and participation in decision-making bodies. In addition, it is necessary to change this policy so that the state fulfills its national and international legal obligations.

According to the Haitian Constitution, international treaties, once ratified, are self-executing, and become part of the Haitian Law, abrogating any conflicting pre-existing laws. As this Policy has noted, the Constitution and several international conventions ratified by Haiti recognize equality between women and men and the principle of non-discrimination against women: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and theConvention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Other international conventions ratified by Haiti provide for the principle of non-discrimination against people with disabilities and specifically women with disabilities, for example, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 5) and the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against People with Disabilities (Arts 2, 3). In addition, the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women recognizes the particular vulnerability of women with disabilities to violence (Art 9). Yet the National Policy for Equality of Women and Men ignores these important conventions.

Haiti ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on July 23, 2009, and it is part of Haitian Law. Article 6 of the CRPD provides that “States Parties recognize that women and girls with disabilities are subject to
multiple discrimination, and in this regard shall take measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by them of all human rights and fundamental freedoms
.” Section 4 (c) of the CRPD provides that the State must “take into account the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons with disabilities in all policies and programmes.”

We, the signatories of this petition, demand that the State recognizes the situation of exclusion and inequality of women with disabilities, and we demand the revision of this Policy in consultation with advocacy groups for women with disabilities, taking into account their specific concerns. At this time, it is imperative that the Haitian government revises the National Policy for the Equality of Women and Men to include women with disabilities, and take action to allow them the full enjoyment of their rights.

Sign the petition HERE.

The UN and the International Community’s Failure on Cholera in Haiti

July 6, 2016 - 14:36

The New York Times Editorial Board criticizes the UN along with the international community in failing to provide an appropriate response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti. The UN has yet to acknowledge its role in the outbreak which began with poor sanitation by UN Peacekeepers. The disease has already killed roughly 10,000 Haitian people and there are no sufficient mechanisms to prevent continued diagnoses.

The Cholera Epidemic the U.N. Left Behind in Haiti

The Editorial Board, The New York Times

6 July 2016

As Haitians were reeling from the devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, United Nations peacekeepers inadvertently compounded their troubles by bringing cholera to the island. Roughly 10,000 Haitians have died from the disease, which spreads easily in places with poor sanitation.

The United Nations hasn’t acknowledged its responsibility and has vigorously fought legal efforts to secure compensation for victims. This is reminiscent of its slow response to allegations that peacekeepers in Africa had sexually abused scores of minors.

Last week, a bipartisan group of 158 members of Congress urged Secretary of State John Kerry to put pressure on the United Nations to mount an effective response against cholera and to compensate people who have been affected. “Each day that passes without an appropriate U.N. response is a tragedy for Haitian cholera victims and a stain on the U.N.’s reputation,” the lawmakers wrote.

Unless there is a dramatic change in approach, the epidemic will damage the legacy of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who will leave his post at the end of the year. There are basic steps he can take before then.

For starters, the international community needs to redouble efforts to fight this preventable and curable disease. In 2012, the United Nations set out to rid Haiti and its neighbor the Dominican Republic of cholera, by expanding access to clean water and improving Haiti’s beleaguered health care system. The initiative has been inadequate and underfunded, and cholera continues to sicken people.

Beyond that, the United Nations must acknowledge its role in the epidemic. Only by doing that will it be able to establish stronger safeguards for future peacekeeping operations. Experts believe that Nepalese peacekeepers in camps with poor sanitation introduced cholera to Haiti. That raised questions about health screening for peacekeepers and the sanitation standards they use.

Finally, Mr. Ban should heed the organization’s watchdogs who urged him last year to establish a system to compensate victims. “The United Nations has a particular responsibility to ensure that a very large number of victims are not left without any effective remedy for human rights violations that result from actions of forces operating under the authority of the United Nations,” they said. It’s not too late for Mr. Ban to take those words to heart.

Click HERE for the original article.

More of the Same With UN Secretary-General Candidate Malcorra

July 6, 2016 - 11:30

Frontrunner to be the next UN Secretary-General, Susana Malcorra represents the bureaucratic politics the UN seeks to reform. While she is known to broker deals between member states and bring political expediency, she is also seen as unwilling to stand up to powerful member states like America and Russia and compromises on human rights in the process. Her prowess in maneuvering multilateral institutions and her career in the UN Secretariat means that she is owed some responsibility for the UN failings such as accepting responsibility for the cholera outbreak in Haiti.

Can a Consummate Insider Bring the Change the U.N. Desperately Needs?

Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy

5 July 2016

Susana Malcorra, Argentina’s foreign minister and a leading candidate to become the U.N.’s ninth secretary-general, understands the inner workings of Turtle Bay better than any of her 10 rivals, a double-edged attribute that could boost her bid for the world’s top diplomatic job — or deal it a serious blow.

As Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff from April 2012 to December 2015, Malcorra helped run the U.N. secretariat she now aspires to lead. Before that, she served as a senior administrator at the World Food Programme (WFP) and the chief of logistics for U.N. peacekeeping operations, responsible for mustering the troops, helicopters, rations, and fuel needed to run the world’s second-largest expeditionary force.

“She saw her role as getting shit done,” said Richard Gowan, a U.N. expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, noting that she was the go-to official that the United States and other big U.N. powers would go to get problems resolved. “She was one of the few adults in Ban’s office, and she has a strong sense of how to use the limited power you have in the U.N. system.”

During more than a decade with the U.N., Malcorra earned a reputation as a decisive and pragmatic bureaucrat — a high-powered fixer particularly adept at putting out administrative brushfires and accommodating powerful government envoys, including Samantha Power and Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who serve as the U.N.’s unofficial corporate board. The challenge for Malcorra, observers say, is whether she can move beyond her roots as a backroom power broker, stand up for the principles enshrined in the U.N. charter in the face of big power push-back, and articulate a strategic vision for an organization whose future seems as uncertain as it has ever been.

In an interview with Foreign Policy, Malcorra said that while she has mostly worked “under the radar,” she has demonstrated a willingness to speak hard truths to power behind closed doors. But she has found the most effective way of advancing the principles enshrined in the U.N. charter is through quiet, discreet diplomacy. “It’s not by yelling all the time that you get there,” she said. “I am a troubleshooter and a problem-solver. That’s true. But I am also a bridge-builder.”

Malcorra added that the U.N. is designed “for evolution, not for revolution.”

“You need to be careful not to break things in a manner that affects your ability to deliver [results],” she said.

Her critics are skeptical. They say she has been all too willing to sacrifice the U.N.’s independence and its core principles, including a commitment to human rights, for the sake of political expediency. Sometimes that meant exercising her considerable authority over the U.N.’s informal patronage system, one of the most powerful levers of influence at the U.N., to accommodate the United States and other key powers who will ultimately decide if she will get the top U.N. job.

In her first meeting with President Barack Obama’s new U.N. envoy, Susan Rice, in February 2009, Malcorra, then head of U.N. field logistics, lavished the American diplomat with the kind of VIP treatment reserved for big-power representatives. She presented a list of six vacant high-level jobs that she had either earmarked for an American candidate or for which she encouraged Rice to put forward a U.S. candidate, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks.

Tony Banbury, a Clinton-era National Security Council official who worked with Malcorra at the WFP and was viewed favorably by the Obama administration, was on a “one-man short list” to be her second-in-command, Malcorra told Rice. Banbury got the job. Malcorra also “indicated an openness to considering USG [U.S. government] candidates for four vacant director-level positions in her department,” according to the U.S. cable. Washington wound up with an American in one of those jobs.

When Rice expressed a desire to see a “strong American” as the No. 2 in the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, Malcorra told her that another American she had worked with at WFP was already being considered for the job. But Malcorra said that if Rice had a preference for a different candidate, “we should move quickly” to get him or her on the short list. Rice did.

In the end, the job went to American diplomat Peter Galbraith over the objections of the U.N.’s top man in Afghanistan, Kai Eide of Norway, and other senior U.N. officials, who feared the appointment of a senior American official could compromise the U.N.’s independence from the U.S.-led NATO force. Galbraith was subsequently fired following a bitter dispute over how the U.N. should respond to allegations of voter fraud by supporters of Afghanistan’s then-president, Hamid Karzai.

Galbraith’s appointment in Kabul — and Malcorra’s willingness to accommodate Rice — highlights the transactional nature of international diplomacy at the U.N., where plum assignments are used to lubricate the wheels of statecraft. For her part, Malcorra appealed to Obama’s U.N. envoy to use her government’s influence to encourage governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to continue pledging troops for U.N. peacekeeping missions. She also asked the United States to continue the Bush administration’s policy of supporting an African Union peace-enforcement operation in Somalia with logistics and training. The Americans accommodated her.

Malcorra said that there was no favoritism shown to the United States, that she had followed the U.N.’s hiring rules scrupulously, and that all senior officials were required to go through a competitive recruitment process, which requires producing a short list with three candidates, including at least one woman. She added that senior appointments were an “issue that is brought up and raised by every single member state” she dealt with while serving as Ban’s chief of staff and running the logistics division of the U.N.’s peacekeeping logistics branch.

“I would have that kind of conversation with the French, the British, the Americans — or the Kenyans, or the Brazilians, or the Indians,” she said.

The United States has long claimed that it doesn’t engage in the U.N. game of swapping jobs for influence. Despite Washington’s stated preference for merit-based senior appointments that would open key posts to non-Americans, it has long insisted that certain top posts, from the department of political affairs to the head of WFP, remain in the hands of U.S. political appointees. Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recalled in his memoir, Unvanquished, that his decision in 1995 to reject President Clinton’s first choice to head UNICEF “seemed to irritate” Madeleine Albright, who was then the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., “more than any previous issue between us.” American officials have privately defended the practice, saying they have a record of putting forward talented American nationals who share the values of U.S. policymakers who want the U.N. to succeed while ensuring that billions of American taxpayers’ dollars are well-spent.

But others say the practice has reinforced a troubling pattern of parceling out top jobs throughout the U.N. secretariat to candidates with more political connections than skills and experience. “There is an unfortunate perception, extremely unhelpful, of a secretariat that is in the pocket of the big powers,” Thant Myint-U, a former U.N. political officer, wrote in a recent history of U.N. appointments published by New York University’s Center on International Cooperation. “Change will be difficult, but without the right initial appointments it will be impossible.”

“Susana’s big weakness is she looks at everything through the prism of the member states — she will always make the Russians, the Americans, or anyone else walk away with a feeling that they have a sympathetic ear,” said a U.N. source who worked closely with Malcorra for years. “I have never seen her in all my time as an observer challenging a powerful member state. Sometimes you have to say no.”

That is easier said than done. Another U.N. official pointed out that denying Americans what they want can be fatal to one’s career, recalling how the United States single-handedly blocked former Egyptian Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali from serving a second term after he resisted appeals by the U.S. to authorize airstrikes against the Bosnian Serbs in the 1990s. “The Americans want what they want and saying no to them has a cost,” the official said.

The United States and Britain, in particular, have highlighted the need to appoint a strong secretary-general at a time when the world is confronting a host of thorny challenges, including global warming, the rise of Islamic extremism, and the greatest flight of refugees and migrants since World War II. Before joining the Obama administration, Samantha Power, the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, had decried the selection of Ban as an uninspired choice to lead the U.N.

For Power and Rice, installing an effective and inspirational U.N. leader, particularly a woman, could stand as an important legacy. Whether Malcorra fits that bill is a matter of dispute in U.N. circles. There are several other female candidates, including Helen Clark, a former prime minister of New Zealand who now serves as executive director of the U.N. Development Programme, and Irina Bokova, the Bulgarian head of UNESCO, vying for the job. Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist and senior budget official in the European Commission, has been informing key powers that she intends to enter the race in early July.

As a U.N. insider, Malcorra may lack the political credentials of some of her competitors, including Clark and António Guterres, a former U.N. refugee chief who served as Portugal’s prime minister. Her appointment as Argentina’s foreign minister in December 2015 should help allay some of those concerns, but Latin American diplomats say she has struggled to rally support for her candidacy in the region. She has not received endorsements from any key Latin American countries. Another Latin American candidate, Christiana Figueres, a former U.N. climate chief from Costa Rica, is expected to mount a challenge.

In recent weeks, Malcorra has faced sharp criticism from human rights advocates who claim that as Argentina’s foreign minister she has dramatically dialed back her government’s commitment to promote human rights in Venezuela in a bid to secure Caracas’ support for her bid to become secretary-general.

The issue came to a head this spring, when Argentina reportedly stalled a bid by the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, the former Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro, to introduce a resolution evaluating Venezuela’s commitment to democracy, a move that could have resulted in Venezuela’s suspension from the OAS.

“When Malcorra was first named foreign minister and then decided to run for U.N. secretary-general, she softened Argentina’s stand on Venezuela, seemingly to curry vote for her U.N. candidacy,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

“A key part of the U.N. secretary-general’s job is to uphold human rights,” Roth added. “If the first thing she does in running for secretary-general is to adopt the language of those who try to avoid international scrutiny of their human rights practices, it is a terrible omen for the kind of secretary-general she would be.”

Malcorra said Roth and other critics are missing the point on Venezuela. There is a false sense that punishing Venezuela and casting them out of the OAS is a “silver bullet,” she told FP.

“Say for a minute that we expel Venezuela. What will that achieve?” she said, noting that Venezuela is facing economic, political, and humanitarian crises. “There is a need to decompress the humanitarian crisis.”

“We have spoken about human rights; we have said it loud and clear,” she said. “But in the end what we need is to have both parties sitting at the table to find a solution. That you will not get by expelling Venezuela from the OAS.”

Malcorra said her position has subjected her to criticism not only from Venezuela’s critics but from the government. “I’m being damned from both sides, which means I must be doing something right,” she added.

In December, Venezuela’s foreign minister, Delcy Rodriguez, criticized Malcorra for allegedly interfering in Venezuela’s internal affairs on behalf of an international “right-wing cartel.” But that was before Malcorra opposed sanctioning Caracas at the OAS.

Malcorra faces other hurdles to ascending to the U.N.’s 38th floor, the secretary-general’s office atop the U.N.’s headquarters building. The job is usually reserved on a rotating basis for candidates from the U.N.’s regional groups. There is broad sympathy for the notion that a candidate from Eastern Europe, which has never produced a U.N. chief, should have a first shot at it. Russia, which enjoys veto power, has expressed a strong preference for an Eastern European. But it has not explicitly warned, as China did eight years ago, that it would block any candidate from outside its region. Meanwhile, Britain, which fought a war against Argentina over the Falkland Islands, or the Malvinas as they are known in Argentina, may have reservations about her candidacy. And Moscow could derail the candidacy of a Latin American like Malcorra if it decides that the next U.N. chief must come from its own neighborhood.

There is speculation that the United States and Russia, which have clashed bitterly over policies from Syria to Ukraine, may not be able to agree on an Eastern European, thereby opening the door to a compromise candidate like Malcorra. It helps that there is mounting support for the idea of a woman ascending to the U.N.’s top diplomatic job for the first time.

“Her entry into the campaign does basically change the nature of this race,” Gowan added. “Now you have a candidate who is very widely believed to have U.S. backing and who can trump the other contenders … in terms of mastery of operational detail.”

But he said there is a “downside” “to her qualifications, Gowan added. If “she is elected this is a continuity candidate.”

“She has been in the system long enough that she is knowledgeable about how it operates,” said a senior U.N. advisor. “With Malcorra you get what you get — someone who knows the beast, knows how to maneuver in it but suffers from the compromises of getting stuff done in a multilateral institution.” That means Malcorra, along with other top U.N. officials, will bear some responsibility for some of the U.N.’s biggest muck-ups, including the failure of the U.N. mission to protect civilians in Darfur and the refusal to acknowledge responsibility for the U.N. cholera epidemic in Haiti.

Malcora’s admirers say she has a distinguished record of administrative achievement, shaped during a 25-year career in the private sector, initially with IBM, and later at director general of Telecom Argentina. In her first few years at the U.N., Malcorra tried to apply cost-saving measures to U.N. peacekeeping by centralizing key administrative functions, like budgeting, human resources, and logistics in regional hubs in Entebbe, Uganda; and Brindisi, Italy.

“Malcorra brought a private sector and operational sensibility to the Department of Field Support, and what is rare in the U.N. — she improved both the effectiveness and the efficiency of the U.N. bureaucracy,” said Bruce Jones, the director of the foreign-policy program at the Brookings Institution, who has worked closely with Malcorra, whom he considers a friend.

Malcorra has also been tasked with handling some of the U.N.’s most sensitive operations, including the creation of a chemical weapons mission that destroyed the vast majority of Syria’s deadliest missiles. She also spearheaded the U.N. response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa and negotiated a peace deal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “She was very creative in thinking outside the box,” said one senior colleague.

“We could do a lot worse” than having Malcorra as secretary-general, said another official from the U.N. peacekeeping department. “She’s a thinking person and someone who understands the U.N.’s political and operational realities.”

In her vision statement, presented to the U.N. General Assembly, Malcorra said her experience as both an advisor to the secretary-general and implementer of his policies has given her a “unique” perspective on what has worked and what needs to be done differently. “As for whether i would follow in his footsteps, I’m sure there will be things that I will follow and there will be things i will be doing different.” But she made it clear that she would take her guidance from the U.N. member states. The secretary-general must inculcate a culture of humility in the daily work of the organization … to faithfully implement and support member states’ decisions.”

Detractors have challenged her administrative record, citing her failure to elevate women to senior posts and supporting reforms that have imposed cumbersome red tape on hires. A recent analysis of senior posts showed that 92 percent of senior officials hired in 2015, her final year as Ban’s chief of staff, were men. “As the clamor grows for a woman to be chosen as the next secretary-general, other high-level staff appoints have been steadily defying the U.N.’s long-standing goal of gender parity,” wrote Karin Landgren, who served as the U.N.’s top official in Nepal and Liberia.

Malcorra acknowledged that the U.N.’s promotion of women has worsened in her final year as the U.N. leader’s chief of staff. “I’m not going to deny it,” she told FP. “There was a relaxation of the [U.N.’s] very, very hard line on the appointment of women.”

But she appeared to blame her former boss and U.N. member states, saying ultimate responsibility rests with the U.N. secretary-general, whom she alerted to the downward trend in the promotion of women, and the member states, which have not put forward enough good female candidates. “It’s like pulling a tooth out of a tiger, getting women candidates,” she said.

There have also been questions about her judgment in another critical case. In March 2015, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein, had grown suspicious that a subordinate, Anders Kompass, had improperly leaked an unredacted copy of a report documenting sexual abuse of children in the Central African Republic by troops from Chad, France, and Equatorial Guinea. Zeid pressed Kompass to resign. But Kompass refused, saying he had acted to stop the abuse. Zeid turned to Malcorra for help.

Malcorra organized a March 20, 2015, meeting in Turin, Italy, with Zeid, Carman Lapointe, then head of U.N. internal investigations, and Joan Dubinsky, then chief of the U.N.’s ethics office, which is supposed to protect U.N. whistle-blowers, to decide how to deal with the problem. Following the meeting, Kompass was placed on administrative leave and Lapointe opened an investigation into possible wrongdoing by Kompass.

But an independent review of the U.N.’s handling of the matter found Malcorra’s decision to organize the meeting was “ill-considered.” The report found that Malcorra “should have known” the high-level meeting “would prompt speculation that a conspiracy was afoot.” She should also have anticipated that by including the head of internal investigations she “was likely to compromise” their independence. The involvement of the ethics chief, the panel added, put her in a conflict of interest.

Kompass, who resigned and plans to re-enter the Swedish foreign ministry, said Malcorra represents the “status quo.”

“Having her as secretary-general would mean more of the same we have seen over the past nine years, which would be a disaster for the United Nations,” Kompass told FP, noting that she had denied him a chance to defend himself. “Please, Obama. Can you give us at least an inspiring secretary-general before you leave?”

Malcorra defended her handling of the Kompass case, telling FP that in organizing the April meeting she “assumed” that Lapointe and Dubinsky had the “judgment to know exactly where their boundaries are.” She also said it was “horrifying” to learn that Kompass had leaked the identities of vulnerable victims as well as the those who investigated the abuse allegations on the ground.

“Often we lose sight of the human rights of the kids that were in this whole story,” she added. “These kids got lost in the translation.”

But the panel dismissed such reasoning in its report. It said that if the U.N. carried so much it did little to respond. If the U.N. really feared that sharing the victims’ identities with French authorities had “been considered such a risk to the children’s safety” they would have taken “urgent steps to protect the children from possible reprisals,” according to the independent panel. “Instead, no one took any steps whatsoever to locate the children.”

Click HERE for the original article.

Rep. Waters Writes to Ban Ki-Moon Demanding Justice for Cholera Victims

July 6, 2016 - 10:43

Representative Maxine Waters of California’s 43 District wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanding an appropriate response from the head of the United Nations for its role in the Haiti cholera outbreak. Citing UN human rights experts who called the UN’s failure to respond to the crisis a “challenge to the credibility of the organization,” she urged a sufficient response to match the leadership of the UN and to ensure justice for the Haitian people.

Letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Representative Maxine Waters, U.S. Congress

5 July 2016

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

Dear Secretary-General,

I am writing, as a friend of the people of Haiti and of the United Nations, on the anniversary of your response to the May 30, 2013, letter that I and 18 of my colleagues in the House of Representatives sent you regarding the UN response to the cholera epidemic that UN peacekeepers introduced into Haiti in 2010.

I appreciate the letter that you sent to us on July 5, 2013, but I am deeply concerned that in the three years since our exchange, Haiti’s cholera epidemic continues to infect and kill Haitians at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, the UN has done little to install the water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to stop the epidemic and nothing to compensate the victims for their losses.

Click HERE for the original letter.

 

Haitian Immigration Forum in Providence, RI

July 1, 2016 - 04:59

Attend this forum for a chance to ask questions of federal and local government officials about Haitian immigration. The discussion details are below.

WHERE:

297 Elmwood Avenue

Providence, RI

WHEN:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

1:45-3:30 pm

WHO:

Mayor Jorge Elorza (confirmed); State Senator Juan Pichardo (confirmed); Dorcas International Institute (invited); Senior Obama Appointee (confirmed); USCIS local field director (confirmed); and RI Governor Gina Raimondo (invited)

 

Event Topics By Speakers:

Obama Appointee/Senior Official from USCIS

  • President’s accomplishments for immigrants including the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program, Deferred action for childhood arrivals, Deferred action for childhood arrivals and Temporary Protected Status for Haitians
  • Immigration brochures will be available to the community in Haitian Creole

Senator Juan Pichardo 

  • In State-Tuition bill
  • Driver’s license bill for undocumented Rhode Islanders
  • What local residents can do to support those bills?
  • Resources available in the community to assist the immigrants

Mayor Jorge Elorza

  • City services for Providence immigrants

USCIS Local Field Director 

  • Pathway to citizenship
  • Naturalization/Green card
  • Refugees and Asylum

Questions and Answers Session.

 

Click HERE for the event flyer.