Monday, December 5, 2016

On Haiti Cholera, Ban Still Avoids Apology and Recompense to Victims, ICP Asks of Bhopal, US Pressure To Not Pay

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 1 -- After the UN under Ban Ki-moon killed more than 10,000 people in Haiti by bringing cholera, Ban spent years dodging court papers and the issue.

The UN now says it has a new approach to Ban Ki-moon longstanding impunity for bringing cholera to Haiti. But on October 14, the UN of Ban and his Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Gallach had Inner City Press thrown out of of the “available” meeting on the new approach.

On December 1, in his last month as UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon is presenting this new approach and two hours before his deputy Jan Eliasson and adviser David Nabarro held an embargoed press conference about a just-released 16-page document.

At 3 pm Ban Ki-moon delivered a non-apology: “We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak.”

No, the UN did too much: it brought cholera and killed 10,000 people and counting.

    Since Ban's approach says some unidentified people the UN consulted prefer payments to “the community” rather than to the individual families whose bread-winners were killed by the UN's cholera, Inner City Press asked if the UN would praise private companies like Coca-Cola if after mass torts like in Bhopal they bypassed victims for “communities.” Video here.

   Inner City Press asked for the UN's response to Philip Alston saying that Ban followed the advice and pressure of the United States in dodging responsibility for cholera in Haiti. Eliasson said the legal position was adopted before he took up his position -- five years ago.

  Nabarro answered Inner City Press' question about how much money has been raised since the October 14 meeting Inner City Press was ejected from -- Eliasson looked surprised, that Beyond the Vine video is here, story here, and here an apparently UNheard audio of eviction -- with a figure of $18 million for Track 1A.

   The 16-page report says that the UN won't consult communities until it has money - but at the press conference it was claimed that these consultations supported not even trying to make individuals whole. Inner City Press raised its hand to ask this question, and another, but it was not allowed (while the media that moderator Stephane Dujarric seemed most concerned with servicing was allowed a second question). This is UN spin.

This to: Ban is not apologizing for the UN bringing cholera, but for its response. And no apology for the many years of lying.

On November 21, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: 

Inner City Press: I wanted to, to ask about Haiti and cholera, also on the immunity front.  I'm sure you've seen the story in IRIN where they're saying that very little money has yet been contributed after that meeting on October 13th, but what jumped out at me was a quote by David Nabarro saying, it's hard to have certainty that there will be money without clarity on what the actual material assistance might look like.

So since he's part of the UN's team on cholera and he seems to be saying, like, the time is running out, what is the time schedule for the Secretary-General to… to lay forth his plan?  Does he expect to vote on it before he leaves?

Spokesman:  We expect the Secretary-General to present his plan next week to the General Assembly, and we'd also try to organise a briefing for you, either on or off the record, prior to that, the day before, so you get a little bit of understanding and deeper understanding of what the Secretary-General is going to propose.

Inner City Press:  Request that it be on… on the record.

Spokesman:  I hear…

On October 25, Philip Alston gave a press conference in the UN Press Briefing Room, at which a total of two journalists asked questions: the New York Times and Inner City Press. (Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric did not even list Alston's press conference in his office “Week Ahead.”Periscope video here.

   Inner City Press asked Alston if he saw Ban Ki-moon's UN's impunity for cholera in Haiti as similar to the lack of accountability for rapes, including of children, in the Central African Republic. Alston distinguished the two, saying that some of the problems with peacekeeper sexual abuse are up to member states, and praising Ban for firing Babacar Gaye.

  (One wonders if Alston is aware that Gaye's boss Herve Ladsous of France has publicly raped the rapes to “R&R” and that the abuse has continued after Gaye, from Senegal, was fired.)

   Alston made an analogy to Ban backing down to Saudi Arabia and its allies and dropping the Saudi led Coalition from the Children and Armed Conflict annex on Yemen, and said that the United States is similarly pressuring Ban.

   Inner City Press while quite aware of the U.S. role asked Alston if that explained for example Ban dodging legal papers, having the press thrown out and if in fact the 11th hour offer of charity might just be to attempt to clean up his legacy for a run for South Korea's presidency.

  Alston said he couldn't speak to that, but that he had two meeting with Ban, one in January and another, just with Ban and Ban's deputy. He said he met with the US Mission's deputy ambassador. Inner City Press asked if he meant Isobel Coleman, present in the October 14 “available” meeting Inner City Press was thrown out of and banned from covering. An Alston staff clarified it had been with Deputy Permanent Representative Michele Sison. But what has by the US Mission's and U.S. State Department's role?

Alston decried both the US administration and the UN for failing to provide their legal arguments. As to the UN, this is was also refused, for example, when the UN threw Inner City Press out earlier this year. Here's USG Gallach's first letter and second letterhere's her bogus response to Alston's fellow Special Rapporteurs Kaye and Forst. Here's the UN's memo to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The lawlessness is pervasive.