Friday, February 28, 2014

The U.N. lacks moral authority to dictate morale in Haiti

It is a volcano jumping between dormant and active stages and last month, it erupted again, spitting a litany of condemning editorials across global opinion pages that set ablaze United Nations’ inexcusable, uncompromising policy in Haiti, where the cholera epidemic, now entering its fourth year, killed more than 8,300 people and sickened another 650,000. An advocacy group representing the victims provoked the latest upsurge of Haiti’s cholera fiasco when it filed a lawsuit against the U.N. in a Manhattan Federal District Court, demanding reparations.

Although an Everest of evidence only indexed U.N. peacekeepers, particularly a Nepalese contingent caught dumping human waste into the Artibonite River near its base that numerous studies pinned at the origin of the outbreak, the global organization refused to accept responsibility for its man-made disaster. However, lead counsel Mario Joseph hopes this eruption will spew enough lava to overwhelm U.N. officials’ deniability and compel them to pay financial reparations to its victims.

The U.N.’s response to the lawsuit varied little from its persisting refrain; a confluence of circumstances, including the country’s dearth of clean water and good sanitation facilitated the spread of cholera. Beyond its dismissive, dehumanizing response however, the global entity failed to provide a shred of scientific evidence, challenging the slew of academic research that traced the cholera strain to Nepal that experienced an outbreak in the months preceding its peacekeepers’ deployment to Haiti.

Rather than taking necessary safety measures to protect hundreds of thousands of lives, the U.N. neglected to properly screen its troops, failed to maintain proper sanitation facilities, and take immediate, appropriate actions following the outbreak. It therefore carelessly allowed Haitians to become infected with cholera, unheard of in the Caribbean nation since 1867. Instead, organizational leaders hid behind the 1946 Convention of the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, claiming absolute immunity from prosecution, spitting on the graves and faces of its victims.

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