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On Haiti Cholera, No More UN Comment, AJAM Not in UN, WaPo Ignored

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 22 -- On having brought cholera to Haiti, the UN's deputy spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey on August 22 told Inner City Press, "We have said everything we're going to say about that, we are not going to comment any more.... we have addressed it." But where?

Video of Q&A here, from Minute 10:35.

Inner City Press first reported this week that the UN's new report on Haiti talks about efforts against cholera, but not how it got to Haiti. The report is belatedly on the UN's website, here, as S/2013/493; see Paragraphs 50 and 51.

   It was this same omission that led the Washington Post to run a follow-up editorial on August 16. Inner City Press on August 22 belatedly asked Del Buey about the editorial (Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did not address or take a question about it at his August 20 press encounter), and about a new half-hour documentary by Al Jazeera America.

  Del Buey refused to comment on either. Nor did he respond to Inner City Press' complaint that in-house UN TV, which used to have Al Jazeera English and BBC, now does not have BBC or Al Jazeera America -- but still has France 24. (The Free UN Coalition for Access raised this on August 21 to UNTV's supervisor Stephane Dujarric, without response.)

  After sitting on legal claims for more than a year, Ban's UN ruled the claims were "not receivable."

  Then when Inner City Press asked for a more detailed legal argument, Ban's last top lawyer Patricia O'Brien said there was just "nothing more to say."

  Inner City Press has asked the US Mission to the UN, too, since Ban listens so much to them. But even after 19 members of Congress wrote to Ban about the issue, the US Mission has not follow up on the issue of accountability.

  During new Ambassador Samantha Power's Twitter town hall on August 15, as Inner City Press noted, she glaringly did not respond to the tweets about the UN's role in bringing cholera to Haiti. Some supporters of the think that to ignore this is best. They are wrong: it makes the UN unable to credible preach about rule of law and accountability.

  Ban's chief of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous has simply refused to taken this and other questions from the Press, compilation video here. Ban has a new chief lawyer from Portugal. Can he be credible without addressing this issue? Watch this site.


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