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UN's Haiti Report Talks Cholera But Not Who Brought It,  Info As a Tool

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 20 -- The new report on Haiti, from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Security Council, has two long paragraphs entitled "UN Ongoing Efforts to Eliminate the Cholera Epidemic."

  But the UN report does not mention the UN having BROUGHT the cholera to Haiti, even to try to deny it.

  Perhaps that is because it can no longer be denied. But how then can the report's section on "Public Information and Outreach" about the UN in Haiti not mention the slew of editorials criticizing the UN for impunity, most recently the Washington Post on August 16?

  Instead, this PIO section gushes that the UN "used public information as a strategic tool... through international and national media relations." Well, Inner City Press and the new Free UN Coalition for Access both tweeted at MINUSTAH asking for information or some semblance of shame or rule or law, without any response.

Perhaps silence and denial are their strategic tools.

  Given the Washington Post's two editorials on the UN and cholera last week, one expected the issue to come up in Ban Ki-moon's press "encounter" on August 20, two days before he heads to South Korea. But he did not mention it. And the four questioners selected predictably did not raise it.

  So not only has Ban's UN's terse dismissal of legal claims for those killed by the cholera undermined the UN's credibility and ability to preach about accountability and the rule of law -- now the UN's reports are less credible, when one sees that an elephant in the room can be omitted entirely from a UN report.

  Denial is not only a river in Egypt - it is a river in Haiti into which the UN dumped raw sewage. Watch this site.

Foonote: The report, apparently only in English so far and therefore only made available in hardcopy, not electronic, is or will be numbered S/2013/493.


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