U.N. Asserts Immunity Against Cholera Claims

The United Nations has taken the rare step of invoking its legal immunity to rebuff claims for compensation from victims of the cholera epidemic in Haiti, the worst outbreak of the disease in modern times. Citing a convention laid down in 1946 that offers immunity from such legal claims, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, telephoned President Michel Martelly of Haiti on Feb. 21 to tell him that the United Nations was not willing to compensate any of the claimants. The epidemic has killed almost 8,000 people and stricken hundreds of thousands more—about one out of every 16 Haitians. The infection is thought to have been carried into Haiti by U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal sent to help with disaster relief following the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Ban’s spokesperson issued a carefully worded statement that pointedly did not accept or deny liability for the epidemic but made clear that the United Nations would not accept the compensation claims.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

Evo Morales said Pope Francis called him to congratulate him on his party’s win after exit polls showed that the former Bolivian president’s top pick, Luis Arce, would win the general election.
Ricardo da Silva, S.J.October 20, 2020
Students at Boston College pray the Examen, while wearing masks and engaging in social distancing. (Photo courtesy of Joseph Vecchio and Emily Egan)
The coronavirus pandemic has caused campus ministries around the country to reassess how to best minister to their students.
Kevin Christopher RoblesOctober 20, 2020
In keeping with Italian law, all of the religious leaders, including Pope Francis, wore a mask except when delivering their speeches, which they did while keeping a distance from those listening.
Sister Campbell, the social justice activist made famous by headlining “Nuns on the Bus” tours, announced she will step down from her post leading Network Lobby this March.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2020