Ban Says Legal Claims Against UN on Cholera “Not Receivable”

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Above: a cholera treatment centre in Haiti (UN Photo/Marco Dormino)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Claims against the UN involving its presumed role in causing Haiti’s cholera epidemic are “not receivable,” a spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.

In November 2011, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti and the International Lawyers Bureau (IJDH) brought damages claims against the world body on behalf of victims of the cholera epidemic, which most studies allege was brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers from Nepal.

“Today, the United Nations advised the claimants’ representatives that the claims are not receivable pursuant to Section 29 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,” spokesperson Martin Nesirky said.

Ban informed Haiti President Michel Martelly of the decision.

“Since the outbreak began in 2010, the United Nations and its partners have worked closely with the people and Government of Haiti to provide treatment, improve water and sanitation facilities and strengthen prevention and early warning,” he said.

The UN said it would continue its efforts to eliminate cholera in Haiti.

“Since the outbreak began in 2010, the United Nations and its partners have worked closely with the people and Government of Haiti to provide treatment, improve water and sanitation facilities and strengthen prevention and early warning,” Nesirky said.

Almost 7,800 people had been killed by cholera in Haiti by the end of 2012.

“The Secretary-General again expresses his profound sympathy for the terrible suffering caused by the cholera epidemic, and calls on all partners in Haiti and the international community to work together to ensure better health and a better future for the people of Haiti,” he said.