Thousands Join Oliver Stone to Demand UN Action to End Cholera in Haiti

For Immediate Release
December 11, 2012

Media Contacts:
Robert Naiman, 217-979-2957, naiman@justforeignpolicy.org
Megan Iorio, 908-400-9480, iorio@justforeignpolicy.org

Thousands Join Oliver Stone to Demand UN Action to End Cholera in Haiti

6000 Back Call at Avaaz Urging End to Crisis Caused by UN Troops

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec 11—Ahead of an expected announcement at the UN of a plan to eradicate cholera in Haiti, more than six thousand friends of Haiti from around the world have joined film director Oliver Stone in an urgent appeal to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pressing him to "take urgent steps to help Haiti acquire clean water and sanitation infrastructure so as to eliminate cholera" and to use his position as head of the UN to "lead international efforts to mobilize the funds ... required."

Oliver Stone's appeal is hosted at Avaaz:

End Haiti's Killer Cholera Epidemic -- UN Action Now!
http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/End_Haitis_Cholera_Epidemic_with_UN_Action_Now_1/

Announcement of UN Haiti cholera related events today is here:
http://www.un.org/en/media/accreditation/alert.shtml

Press reports have indicated that while an announcement of a plan may be imminent, there has been as yet no indication where funding is going to come from. "It's still unclear who will pay for what would be the biggest endeavor yet to develop Haiti's barely existent water and sanitation system," AP reported on November 28. http://news.yahoo.com/haiti-dr-eliminate-cholera-2-2-billion-194258520--...

"Citizens in Haiti know the difference between what may be announced by leaders of the big powers in New York and what will actually happen on the ground in Haiti," said Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy, who worked with Oliver Stone to launch the petition.

"Cholera won't be eradicated in Haiti without sustained public pressure on Western leaders from the citizens of their countries, and that's why we launched this worldwide petition. We'll continue mobilizing pressure until the UN takes responsibility for the cholera crisis caused by UN troops." Naiman noted that the U.S. and France bear special responsibility for the crisis. "There wouldn't even be UN troops in Haiti if it hadn't been for U.S. and French pressure on the UN," Naiman said. "The Haitian people never asked for UN troops to come into their country."

Naiman noted that pressure on the UN to act would be greater if more Americans understood the history of the crisis. "If more Americans knew that the UN brought cholera to Haiti, if more Americans knew that Haitians never invited UN troops to Haiti in the first place, more Americans would see this not as just one more appeal for aid but as an obviously just demand for restitution from the institution that caused the harm," Naiman said. Naiman noted the role of understanding history in ending Haiti's cholera crisis in a piece at the Huffington Post:

Could Oliver Stone's Exposé of American Empire Help Press the UN to End Haiti Cholera?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/oliver-stone-untold-history_b_2272971.html

The appeal at Avaaz is also posted in French/Haitian Creole and Spanish:

Mettre FIN à l’épidémie de choléra en Haïti avec une action de l’ONU maintenant!
http://avaaz.org/fr/petition/End_Haitis_Cholera_Epidemic_with_UN_Action_Now_1/

Eliminemos cólera en Haití ¡Tome acción ya!
http://www.avaaz.org/es/petition/End_Haitis_Cholera_Epidemic_with_UN_Action_Now_1/

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