UN response to cholera is 'a disgrace' - human rights expert
ED NATIONS (AP):
A United Nations human rights expert is calling the United Nations' denial of legal responsibility for the cholera outbreak in Haiti in 2010 caused by UN peacekeepers "a disgrace".
Philip Alston said in a report Tuesday that flawed and unfounded legal advice provided by UN lawyers is preventing the organisation from accepting responsibility for the outbreak, which has sickened nearly 800,000 Haitians and killed some 9,300.
Alston says the UN's existing legal approach "of simply abdicating responsibility is morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating".
He says the good news is that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has established a trust fund aimed at raising at least $400 million to eradicate cholera and help victims.
The bad news, Alston says, "is that the UN has still not admitted factual or legal responsibility".