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On Haiti Cholera Suit, ICP Asks UN of Funds & Reforms, Ladsous Won't Answer

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 9 -- Last night Inner City Press reported that a class action lawsuit would be filed this morning in the Southern District of New York -- and today it was.

  But the UN's response has been even more lame than might have been expected.

  Inner City Press asked UN Controller Yukio Takasu, who had just finished saying that the financial position of the UN is strong, how that related with the UN's decision to dismiss all claims for the death of 8,300 people and country from cholera it brought to Haiti.

  Takasu replied that the Secretary General can't spend a penny without approval of the General Assembly. One might then thing: take a vote. But it is Ban's and his then top lawyer Patricia O'Brien, and the head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous, who are responsible for the decision.

  Also, Ban in a letter to week to the Security Council about chemical weapons in Syria says that he is funding the operation from a slush fund for unexpected events. This fund exists -- does to not even consider using it mean that cholera deaths in Haiti WERE expected?

  Since Ban's associate spokesperson Farhan Haq refused to comment on the claims (while saying the UN has commented a lot in recent months -- in reality, by saying "we have nothing further to say"), Inner City Press asked about UN Peacekeeping's statements that the peacekeepers had been screened (which the lawsuit calls "false"), and if UN Peacekeeping under Ladsous now screens those it deploys, at least from cholera hotspot countries.

  Haq said he thinks they do screen. Inner City Press asked him to get a statement from DPKO -- because Ladsous has repeatedly refused to answer this question and others from the Press, a "farce" which was covered yesterday in the UK's New Statesman, here.

For now, we are putting the lawsuit online, here. Watch this site.


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