International Press Supports Cholera Claim.
The following is one of a number of supportive editorials and reports (see also links at the bottom) that have appeared in the US and international press since lawyers for cholera victims filed a case agains the UN last week. (Ed.)
The UN owes Haiti
World body must take responsibility for a horrific cholera outbreak
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. CHOLERA CLAIM.
Sunday, October 13, 2013, 4:05 AM.
The United Nations’ callous and chronic refusal to own up to its responsibility for inadvertently importing a cholera epidemic to one of the world’s most impoverished nations may finally come back to bite it.
In federal court in New York last week, human rights lawyers filed a class-action suit against the UN for damage done. We wish them and their suffering clients swift success.
The disease’s introduction to the Haitian half of Hispaniola began with the best intentions.
After an awful earthquake rocked the nation in January 2010, relief workers and peacekeepers descended. Those included much-needed UN staffers whose last stop had been Nepal.
Nepal is a place where cholera infections had recently surged; Haiti is a place with no reported cases for a century.
The staffers were stationed near a tributary of a river — and they discharged sewage into that river. With almost absolute certainty, this is what introduced the deadly bacteria into the waters of Haiti, and the bodies of the Haitian people.
Before long, men, women and children appeared at hospitals with telltale symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting, rapid dehydration.
Over the course of a three-year epidemic, more than 8,000 people, many of them young and vulnerable, have died. More than 600,000 have fallen violently ill.
Mistakes — even lethal mistakes — happen in this world. That, though tragic, is understandable. What is unacceptable is that a world body that wags its fingers at bad behavior all over the globe ran and hid when it turned out its own people were culpable.
An independent panel tapped by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon studied the evidence and issued a mealy-mouthed 2011 report that stopped short of accepting any blame.
A U.S. Centers for Disease Control follow-up was more definitive: The UN made this happen.
The victims and their surviving families, subjected to a kick in the face that followed a punch in the gut, must wait no longer.
They demand justice. If the diplomats at the United Nations will not do the honorable thing and deliver it of their own volition, the courts must do it for them.
Read more on cholera claim: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/owes-haiti-article-1.1483237#ixzz2ht1nd1Qr
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