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publié le 28 sept. 2013 à 13:00 par Junia Barreau   [ mis à jour : 28 sept. 2013 à 14:34 ]

Opening Statement to the Secretary General of the United Nations

New York, September 26th, 2013


Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

Constant conflicts and threats harming the lives and safety of human beings felt all over the world demand urgently your attention. The Republic of Haiti should be considered privileged to have been included on the UN’s long list of priorities for so long. At the beginning of its 210 years of independence, the very young Haitian nation sought to maintain its position - highly deserved due to the bloodshed of its daughters and sons’ liberators - in harmony with all nations. Since the crushing victory over settlers of a bygone era, our country has faced various natural disasters, which no other country confronted before. The earthquake of January 12, 2010 is recorded as one of the United Nations’ greatest natural disasters of the twenty-first century, engulfing more than 250,000 Haitians under rubbles, which the consequences on the lives of our compatriots will be felt for years to come.

In addition to the worst natural disaster, another avoidable tragedy struck: the introduction of cholera from the UN’s peacekeepers from Nepal who arrived in Haiti at the beginning of October 2010. ALL HIGHLY RESPECTED AND CREDIBLE EXPERTS ARE UNANIMOUS: AGREE THAT THE STRAIN OF BACTERIA VIBRIO CHOLERAE IN HAITI IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE ONE FROM NEPAL. And it is no coincidence that this bacterium of Nepalese origin was discovered in Haiti a few days after the arrival of the Nepalese soldiers at the MINUSTAH’s Mirebalais’s camp; Mirebalais being the starting point of the cholera epidemic in Haiti. Despite the scientific findings and irrefutable proof of liability of the guilty peacekeepers, the UN continuously claim the inadmissibility of the claims brought on by the cholera victims demanding justice, including refusing to speak with representatives of victims.

Mr. Secretary-General, on September 16th, 2013, you said that "it is not scientifically clear or established" that the UN brought cholera to Haiti, relying strongly on the questionable report sponsored by the UN, whose basis already collapsed. In fact for the May 2011 report, the four independent experts, even those hired by the UN, collectively reversed their initial analysis in a second report published in May 2013 in the Springer Berlin Heidelberg journal entitled: The Cholera Outbreak in Haiti : Where and how did it begin?

The Collective Solidarity with Cholera Victims in Haiti is an obligation to share with the UN the missing information. The document is attached to this letter.

Daniele Lantagne, G. Balakrish Nair, Claudio F. Lanata and Alejandro Cravioto conclude in their second report on cholera in Haiti that there is only one possible source in which cholera was introduced in Haiti: the soldiers of MINUSTAH stationed at the Mirebalais base. ( "[...]
the preponderance of the evidence and the weight of the circumstantial evidence does lead to the conclusion that personnel associated with the Mirebalais MINUSTAH facility were the most likely source of introduction of cholera into Haiti." page 18).

Mr. Secretary-General, more than 8,300 Haitians have died from cholera and over 700,000 Haitians have been infected. The list is growing daily and Haitian families continue to suffer. According to the Haitian Ministry of public Health, since September 1st, 2013, Haiti has registered a flare-up of the epidemic that kills on average 2 Haitians daily in five departments, or 10 per day, 70 per week or 280 per month.

What is the UN waiting for to recognize its full and total responsibility for introducing cholera in Haiti? Why is the UN refusing victims and their families of Haiti their right to dignity, respect and justice? What is preventing the UN to show respect to the Haitian cholera victims and to the Haitian people, with a guarantee to have available funds to stop the cholera epidemic in the country?

We, The Collective Solidarity with Cholera Victims in Haiti, joining with all other groups who defend the rights of cholera victims in Haiti, request Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to arrange that the UN:

  • officially recognize that it is the source which brought on the cholera epidemic in Haiti via the Nepalese contingents of MINUSTAH, who arrived in Haiti at the beginning of October2010;
  • apologize to the Haitian people for the loss of human lives, for the physical and mental suffering, which was caused by the neglectful actions of MINUSTAH in Haiti;
  • fully assume its responsibilities by accepting the claims for compensation filed by cholera victims and their families
  • invest in health infrastructure, safe drinking water and sanitation to work, in order to minimize the impact of the cholera bacteria, for immediate and long-term eradication of cholera in Haiti.

The Haitian people have suffered enough from cholera and deserve to live in dignity. The UN must be choose to be truthful in order to regain credibility in its capability to manage cholera in Haiti.

The Collective Solidarity with Cholera Victims in Haiti is the voice for all the victims of MINUSTAH’s wrongdoings and request the UN to defend human rights as it is its first defender. Isn’t the "
recognition of the inherent dignity of the equal and inevitable right of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.” (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Mr. Secretary-General, the Haitian people is part of the human family.

Starting today, September 26th 2013, we hope that the UN will make the right decisions for victims of cholera in Haiti. Mr. Secretary-General, The Collective Solidarity with Cholera Victims in Haiti, ask that you to accept our deepest feelings.

The Collective Solidarity with Cholera Victims in Haiti,

Me Olicier Pieriche (Fort-Lauderdale)
Mme Yveline Dalmacy (New-York)
Dr Seymour Coffy (Connecticut)
M. Quener Joseph (Pensylvania)
Dr Jean Ford Figaro (Boston)
M. Kerlens Tilus (Ottawa)
Mme Marlène Jean-Noël (New-York)
M. Jose Davilmar (Miami)
M. Jimy Mertune (Orlando)
M. Ilio Durandis (Boston)
Mme Junia Barreau (Montreal)

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