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Amid UN Speeches on Rule of Law, Impunity on Haiti Cholera, No Content Neutral

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 24 -- An irony of Monday's series of speeches at the UN on the "Rule of Law" is that the UN puts itself above the law. Not only does it cite technical immunity but it is resistant even to the faux justice system set up under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

  In the big picture, the UN has refused to answer detailed allegations that its peacekeepers introduced cholera into Haiti, killing thousands. A legal claim filed with its MINUSTAH mission remains pending in New York before Ban's top lawyer Patricia O'Brien, who refuses to take questions from the Press.

  Even when the UN Dispute Tribunal rules against high UN officials, Ban immediately appeals; his spokesperson's office has repeatedly refused to answer Inner City Press questions about whether Under Secretary General Shaban Shaban ever paid the fine he was ordered to pay for mistreating a staff member.

  On Friday, September 21, the last "normal" UN day before today's high-security circus with speeches on not only the Rule of Law but also ironically Haiti and the UN Development Program, Inner City Press asked the chief of Ban's "Rule of Law" office Edric Selous if beyond preaching what countries should do, Ban acknowledged the need for more rule of law within the UN itself. Video here.

  Sure, he said generally. But what about the Haiti cholera claim? What about the UN Dispute Tribunal rulings? What about having the most basic, content-neutral rules? Maybe the speeches will address these. Maybe, but not likely. Watch this site.

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