‘UN re­sponse to cholera a dis­grace’

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

UNITED NA­TIONS (AP): A UNITED Na­tions hu­man rights ex­pert is call­ing the United Na­tions’ de­nial of le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity for the cholera out­break in Haiti in 2010 caused by UN peace­keep­ers “a dis­grace”.

Philip Al­ston said in a re­port Tues­day that flawed and un­founded le­gal ad­vice pro­vided by UN lawyers is pre­vent­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion from ac­cept­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the out­break, which has sick­ened nearly 800,000 Haitians and killed some 9,300.

MORALLY UNCONSCIABLE

Al­ston says the UN’s ex­ist­ing le­gal ap­proach “of sim­ply ab­di­cat­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity is morally un­con­scionable, legally in­de­fen­si­ble and po­lit­i­cally self-de­feat­ing”.

He says the good news is that Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon has es­tab­lished a trust fund aimed at rais­ing at least $400 mil­lion to erad­i­cate cholera and help vic­tims.

The bad news, Al­ston says, “is that the UN has still not ad­mit­ted fac­tual or le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity”.

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