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On Haiti Cholera Dismissal, UN Tells ICP No More Answers, Only Aid Program

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 25 – The UN sat for fifteen months on the legal complaint that it had introduced cholera into Haiti, before tersely dismissing it as “not receivable” on February 21.

  Now only four days (and only two noon briefings) after the barely explained ruling, the UN on February 25 rebuffed Inner City Press' follow up questions and request for a briefing, perhaps by the UN's top lawyer Patricia O'Brien.

  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey told Inner City Press, “we have provided you with all the information we are going to provide... We're not making further comments on this.” Video here, from Minute 20:11.

  In the interim, Inner City Press has learned from lawyers expert in and outraged by the UN's immunity games that the venue in Europe to pursue this is the European Court of Human Rights.

  The ECHR issued a decision in 2011 against France: a French national who worked as the chief accountant for 20 years for the Kuwaiti Embassy was fired, and denied access to court on account of diplomatic immunity. The ECHR found that diplomatic immunity should not have prevented his employment claim. How much more so in this case?

  Inner City Press asked if the UN had thought through how its credibility will further suffer, when it seeks to send missions into countries or preached to such countries about “rule of law” and accountability.

  Del Buey replied that the “Secretary General has embarked on trying to resolve... a program for the international community to contribute funding and effort to eradicate cholera from the island of Hispanola.

  So is that program in the nature of an attempted settlement of the claims?

  Del Buey said only, it is to “address the humanitarian situation.”

  Even the UN must see that further explanation is necessary. How can the UN talk about rule of law and transparency, and tersely dismiss a claim like this? Watch this site.

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